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  • Cat Willett

  • Dropping In: Building a Skate Community through Collaborative Construction

    Interior Design (MFA)

    Dropping In: Building a Skate Community through Collaborative Construction
    When skateboarders gather, whether in formal skateparks or informal street settings, they create a unique interior through motion, physical occupation, traces of use, and a digital record of their presence. Without the economic power to build, skaters simply show up and claim space, be it in the empty backyard pools of 1970s Southern California or the plaza in front of Brooklyn's Borough Hall. In the process of occupation, however, these often become cis-hetero-male-dominated spaces of exclusivity. My thesis asks: Can design empower women, queer, and gender-diverse people to create and occupy space in the cis-hetero-male-dominated world of skateboarding? I designed a set of skate obstacles that can be easily disassembled, transported to, and reassembled on site. Using the McCarren Park house building as a backdrop, I will host a Drop-In, inviting women, queer, and gender-diverse skaters to gather, assemble the obstacles, and enjoy a day of skating together. By exercising agency through DIY making techniques, those people typically excluded from skate spaces will have the ability to create one of their own. The physical obstacles coupled with the collective act of building and skating on them form a unique interior within a public space that encourages community and inclusivity.
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