V&A Dundee

Dundee skateboard designs launched

V&A Dundee has today (14 October) launched two limited edition skateboards inspired by the skating community that have made the plaza around the museum their home.

The boards were created by local designer-maker and skater Mickey Fenton and fabricated collaboratively with The Bonny Company, an independent skateboard manufacturer based in Dundee.

The new collectible skateboards are designed with sustainability in mind and looking at alternative ways of hand producing small batches of skateboards. The Recycled Edition board by Mickey Fenton was made by transforming worn pre-loved skateboards into newly etched cruiser boards that are ready to ride.

Embracing the past life of the skateboards, scratches and embellishments are embedded within the decks and the vibrantly coloured outer plywood vary per board, giving each deck their own raw and unique finish and value the beauty of their imperfections. The hand-reshaped wood and laser etched graphics of each board are influenced by the museum’s architecture and the ‘invisible geometries’ found within the building’s architectural drawing.

The second board, The Bonny Edition was designed by Mickey and manufactured in collaboration with The Bonny Company. This board was created with a unique construction of 11 layers of maple, vibration dampening cork and an outer layer of deluxe bog oak. This structure delivers a smoother and more comfortable ride, whilst taking the sustainable approach to use less maple – a material that is overwhelmingly consumed in the skateboard industry. Each board features small, hand inlayed details that vary per board, giving them their own uniqueness. The Bonny Edition is designed to be a collectable piece.

Designer Mickey Fenton said: “Reworking the decks by hand respects the previous use of the board and allows it to carry on giving hours of fun to a new skater. This sustainable approach compliments skating culture while also remaining environmentally friendly.

“The motif etched on the board is inspired by the architecture of the museum. The colour, shape and design of the plaza is a perfect backdrop for skaters of all ages. The friendly and vibrant atmosphere of the space is quite unique.”

Mickey Fenton added: “Working with V&A Dundee to bring this pair of boards to life is a great thing for the skating community who have adopted the space on the museum’s plaza. As a skater myself, it’s great to see a cultural institution connect with communities like ours to create fresh and exciting designs and strengthen local bonds.”

This new partnership builds on Mickey Fenton’s previous work with V&A Dundee on the V//ALLIE project in 2020. Mickey explored the plaza area around the museum to determine how skateboarding can transform spaces and create a new social dynamic around cultural attractions. The process involved co-design and community engagement with local skaters to reimagine the plaza space. Mickey created modular benches, moveable ramps and shelters that were friendly for boarders and non-boarders alike.

The shared space outside the museum is also home to Cobolt Collective’s colourful Play Plaza mural and the successful Heather Street Food van. The bustling environment has brought skaters to the space and this collaboration was inspired by the friendly relationship between the museum and the skating community.

Alan Birch, Retail Manager at V&A Dundee, said: “Following the success of the V/ALLIE project and the growth in skating around the museum we wanted to represent this exciting creative relationship by commissioning these exclusive boards right here in Dundee.

“Reappropriating the built environment is a big part of the way skaters view social spaces, with static elements such as benches seen as opportunities for movement. The space outside V&A Dundee is a big part of why it’s now seen as a hub for skaters and place for everyone to enjoy themselves outdoors.”

Each design has a limited run of 20 boards, available exclusively from the shop inside V&A Dundee and online shop.vandadundee.org/collections/the-dundee-skateboard