PlayLab Inc creates “surreal” pyramidal skate ramp for LA’s art week

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Californian design studio PlayLab Inc has constructed a massive skateable pyramid in Downtown Los Angeles in collaboration with footwear brand Vans.

The bright-yellow skate ramp was placed between two buildings in an industrial district near the LA River as part of the city’s art week – centred around the Frieze, Felix and Spring/Break art fairs.

PlayLab Inc and Sterling Ruby have created a skateable installation in Downtown LA

PlayLab Inc designed the installation in collaboration with American artist Sterling Ruby to mark the release of his Clash the Wall skate shoe for Vans.

The split-level pyramid was constructed from materials gathered from previous skate installations built by PlayLab Inc, such as the plexiglass skate ramp the studio created for Vans during Paris Fashion Week Mens last summer.

It has a split-level pyramidal form and a large backing wall

Among the salvaged materials were scaffolding and Skatelite – a durable paper composite used for the surface of many skateboarding ramps, which in this case was painted a bright neon yellow. The design was meant to emulate the “hills” found in many California skateparks.

“We wanted to take an iconic form in skate culture, the hill, and interpret it into a surreal sculpture,” PlayLab cofounder Archie Lee Coates IV told Dezeen.

“At the center of the installation is a pyramid, split and shifted to create angles and edges for skaters to play off of,” he added. “This pyramid is placed within a massive cyc wall, which serves both as a skate feature and an immersive visual color field.”

It was informed by California skate culture

The “cyc wall” in question is almost completely vertical with a lip on the bottom, much like the cycloramas used as backdrops for stage sets and photoshoots.

In this case, the wall creates a colourful background for the pyramidal form in the middle of the installation.


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The ramp was created to celebrate the launch of the new skate shoe that Ruby’s clothing design studio SR Studio has designed for OTW by Vans – the company’s experimental design arm.

Much like the Clash the Wall shoe, Coates says the bold colour and form of the installation were meant to clash with the urban fabric, utilising the same neon hue as the shoe.

It was constructed using materials from PlayLab’s previous skate installations

According to Coates, the materials from the installation will be disassembled and many will be reused for future installations

Other installations during this year’s LA art week include an exhibition of black cars arranged around furniture by Willo Perron and USM, curated by LA-based design studio Sized.

The photography is by Atiba Jefferson.

The post PlayLab Inc creates “surreal” pyramidal skate ramp for LA’s art week appeared first on Dezeen.

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