Georgia Pogas: A Spectacular Spectacle is Spectacular
Georgia Pogas is from Carmel, IN and is a fourth year architecture student at Ball State University College of Architecture and Planning. She currently is the Vice President of Ball State’s American Institute of Architecture Students Chapter, and the co-editor in chief of GLUE Publication, the college’s student publication.
A Spectacular Spectacle is Spectacular
Resilience is defined as a way to accommodate risk. In terms of a skate park, resiliency tends to be lacking, as it is rendered useless until touched by a skater. As soon as a skater touches an object in the site, it immediately becomes essential to the skater’s functionality. Without the skater, the park is reduced to a field of follies. To the bystander or the spectator, a skate park is difficult to navigate, therefore, it is deemed weak in nature. To accommodate for the spectator, there must be a balance of follies. What is a folly to a spectator is not for a skater, and vice versa. Incorporating the skater with the spectator, and the spectator into the spectacle, becomes critical to the site and the skate culture.
When studied from above, it becomes apparent the current state of Major Taylor Skate Park maintains a similar language to that of more mainstream sports. However, the nature of mainstream sports such as football, soccer, basketball, etcetera, vary compared to the nature of skating. Other fields simply create boundaries for relatively predictable behavior and trajectory, while skating more so is less predictable. While typical fields are intended for team interaction with one goal, skate parks are intended for multiple individuals with varying goals. A skate park requires a design that allows for maximum constrained improvisation.
To design for constrained improvisation, the generator of form needs to be acknowledged. By studying the profiles and design processes of typical skate elements, it becomes apparent that the generator of form is the quarter pipe. By taking the quarter pipe and applying simple operations, numerous elements can be formed. However, if the goal of a skate park is to generate maximum improvisation, how come there are not more elements introduced to the park? How quickly do skaters get bored with the typical elements? By continuing to use these simple operations and producing deviations of these existing elements, the breadth of improvisation is expanded.