and Skate Park
In August of 2017, Ryan McGinness worked with Bedrock, the Quicken Loans Community Investment Fund (QLCIF), Tony Hawk and Library Street Collective to produce Wayfinding, an art installation and skate park in the city of Detroit. The park was designed by Tony Hawk, and built by George Leichtweis of Modern Skate and Surf.
Located on the site of the future Monroe Blocks development, the area bounded by Randolph Street, Bates Street, Cadillac Square and Monroe Avenue, Wayfinding opened to the public on Wednesday, August 16. The park is scheduled to remain open until Monroe Blocks construction begins, currently slated for January 2018. Wayfinding’s functional and mobile design will allow it to move to another location in the city following the Monroe Blocks groundbreaking.
The term “wayfinding” refers to the discipline applied to guiding people through a physical environment. These strategies for helping people navigate space are usually applied by architects and designers.When in the hands of a skateboarder and artist, the traditional guidelines for wayfinding get upended. Architectural elements and signage that were intended for one purpose are subverted. Hawk repurposes benches, rails, ramps, and curbs as props to serve the expression of skills and tricks. McGinness takes authoritative signs that normally dictate behavior with a universally understood visual language and undermines those forms with surreal and absurd imagery. Both approaches destabilize conventional utilities of forms in urban environments.