Learning Book Launch

SKATEBOARD Book Launch with Jonathan Olivares

Join Jonathan Olivares, designer and guest curator of the exhibition SKATEBOARD in conversation with journalist, archivist and skateboarder Neil Macdonald. They will discuss Olivares' new book on the history and evolution of skateboard design, published by Phaidon.

Image: Phaidon

What to expect

Jonathan Olivares will discuss his new book with journalist, author, curator and archivist Neil MacDonald. The conversation will be followed by a book signing.

From a simple wooden plank to the high-tech models of today, the skateboard has undergone a dramatic evolution. This publication, designed by Apartamento Studios and published by Phaidon, explores the golden eras of skateboarding through over 100 boards that brought about turning points in the sport's history. Across six thematic chapters, organised chronologically by decade, the book focuses on the materials, designs, and events that have defined the art, sport, and culture of skateboarding.

Developed in close collaboration with Converse, a brand engrained in skateboarding culture since its inception, SKATEBOARD is packed with information and insights about the individuals, communities and events that have shaped the sport. The publication features hundreds of images spanning new studio-shots and historical photography that fully capture and illustrates the skateboard's technical makeup and structural development across time.

Jonathan Olivares photographed by Felix Speller


Jonathan Olivares

Olivares is an industrial designer, skateboarder, collector and guest curator of the museum's SKATEBOARD exhibition. He established his Los Angeles-based practice in 2006 and his clients include Vitra, Knoll, and Kvadrat. Olivares' work has been published internationally and granted several design awards including Italy's Compasso d'Oro, and is included in permanent design collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Los Angeles County Art Museum and the Vitra Design Museum. More about Jonathan Olivares

Neil Macdonald

Macdonald has been skateboarding since 1988, and writing for Sidewalk, North, Free and Grey magazines since 2007. He owns one of the world’s largest libraries of printed and audio-visual skateboard media, including complete sets of all UK publications, and almost every British-made skateboard film. His @scienceversuslife Instagram account celebrates the stylistic innovation of ‘90s skateboarding, and his book, 'Elsewhere: The Story of UK Skateboarding, 1987 – 2002', will be published by Batsford in 2025.

Book online

Booking information

Adult: £12

Student/Concession: £11

Member*: £10

Child: £5

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

• The event includes same day access to the exhibition.

• Children under 16 must be accompanied by a responsible, ticket holding adult

• Hearing Loop and BSL interpretation available

• Assistance dogs are welcome

Tickets are non-refundable and non-exchangeable. Visit our Terms & Conditions page for further information.

The exhibition


Sponsored by Converse. 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. The exhibition is also host to a skateboard ramp – skaters can book an Open Skate session + exhibition ticket combined.

Background image: SKATEBOARD publication © Phaidon Press