The Design Museum's Upcoming Exhibition Traces the Evolution of Skateboard Design
The UK’s largest retrospective to date.
As the Paris Olympic Games approach, the Design Museum anticipates its exhibition, Skateboard, perfectly timed with the one-year countdown to the Games’ opening ceremony and celebrating skateboarding’s upcoming second Olympic appearance.
Being the UK’s first major showcase dedicated to skateboard design evolution, Skateboard will feature a collection of over 90 rare boards and 100 related objects, including wheels, trucks, safety equipment, VHS tapes, DVDs, magazines and ephemera.
Curated by Jonathan Olivares, the exhibition unfolds chronologically, depicting pivotal moments in skateboarding’s history over seven decades — from the pioneering days of sidewalk surfing in the 1950s to its inclusion in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Beyond technical and design aspects, visitors can witness an evolving perception on skateboard through key media and stories.
To add authenticity, the Design Museum has collaborated with the Skateboarding Hall of Fame Museum in California, providing a large number of skateboards on loan. Additionally, Skateboard spotlights Britain’s unique skateboarding relationship, showcasing how UK skaters adapted their style to the country’s distinctive weather and urban terrain. Notably, the showcase features a 1967 skateboard from Bilbo, one of the earliest commercial boards sold under a British company name.
The exhibition further comes to life in a book published by Phaidon, conceived by Jonathan Olivares in close collaboration with Converse, exploring skateboarding’s golden eras through over 100 skateboards.
Skateboard will be open to the public at the Design Museum in London from October 20, 2023, to June 2, 2024. The book is available for pre-order on Phaidon’s website.
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