Learning Conversation

How Does Skateboarding Shape Cities?

Join a conversation panel with Iain Borden, Charlie Davis, Sam Elstub, Charles Myatt and Esther Sayers to discuss how skateboarding animates and shapes the city.

What to expect

A panel of skaters, academics, designers and makers including Iain Borden, Charlie Davis, Sam Elstub, Charles Myatt and Esther Sayers, will discuss skate spaces, communities and culture.

Skateboarding is everywhere: in urban streets and plazas, DIY constructions, multi-story projects, pop up ramps and bowls in retail spaces, parks and the Olympic games. How are skateboarders influencing urban politics and social enterprise? How does the design of skate spaces facilitate intergenerational connections?

The speakers will look at ways skateboarders rethink the parameters of the built environment, author DIY spaces, build communities and impact culture, commerce and spatial politics.


Iain Borden

Borden is Professor of Architecture & Urban Culture and Vice-Dean Education at The Bartlett, University College London. He is author of 'Skateboarding and the City: a Complete History' (Bloomsbury, 2019) and co-author of 'Design and Development Guidance for Skateboarding' (Skateboard GB, 2020).

Charlie Davis

As a lifelong skater, Davis first visited Palestine in 2006, volunteering as an English and Music teacher, but quickly realised the kids were far more interested in skating. After several years of teaching and travelling in Palestine and in the Middle East, and after studying an MA in Arabic at Edinburgh University, he went on to establish SkatePal in 2013. He is currently based in Scotland.

Sam Elstub

Elstub is a skateboarder and chartered landscape architect. Using his experience in both fields, he now works as a skatepark designer with the award-winning design agency Betongpark. His expertise in community focused landscape architecture is also conveyed through his work as co-founder of the collective The Sandwich Club, in addition to being a tutor at the Bartlett School of Architecture. Projects include the Hackney Bumps Community project, regenerating the much loved 1980´s skatepark.

Charles Myatt

Myatt is a multidisciplinary artist based in Glasgow experimenting with form materials and design. Among his contributions to art, design and fabrication Myatt has built two public skateparks and several public skate-related sculpture projects. A skateboarder of 23 years, he is the current director and founder of The Arches DIY. His interest in skateboarding’s relationship to the city, to sculpture, architecture and the role it plays in public space inform his research and practice.

Esther Sayers

Sayers is Senior Lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her research into co-constructed learning includes practice research in cultural settings. She co-founded City Mill Skate with Sam Griffin, funded by UCL, and through a series of community designed 'skate dots' created City Mill Pool Street. Her articles include auto ethnographic research into skateboarding, motherhood and risk and qualitative research into skateboarding in girls’ and non-binary youth’s mental health recovery during lockdown with Sheryl Clark.

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Booking information

Adult: £10
Student/Concession: £9
Members*: £8

*Please note that this benefit only applies to the cardholding Member’s ticket and not those of additional guests.

Tickets are non-refundable and non-exchangeable. Visit our terms & conditions page for further information.

related exhibition


The first major UK exhibition to map the design evolution of the skateboard from the 1950s to today – a story of design, performance and communities progressing together.

What's On

Talks, events and workshops

Join our inspiring learning programme to discover more about design from leading experts in the industry.

Background image: SKATEBOARD exhibition photographed by Felix Speller.