You might have never stood on a skateboard, but would you believe the experience gives you a community to inspire, guide and challenge you? Initiated by the surfer community in the 1950s, skateboarding established its strong niche in the 1990s to early 2000s. Since then, the community is growing, promoting creativity, equality, and accessibility for everyone with a board. A long tradition of sharing tricks and skills unites people with different ideas and from different backgrounds. So why not utilise this humanizing and communitarian remit where it’s most needed: in the global danger zones.

Rendering of a pop-up skateboard park with kids playing, a school container and garden facilities in the background

“Working with Indeed was a fantastic experience. To create our new and innovative ‘Skateistan in a Box’ concept, we wanted to work with the best in design and that’s what we got.”

Oliver Percovich, Founder and Executive Director of Skateistan

Skateistan is an award-winning international non-profit organization which empowers children through skateboarding and education in Jordan, Cambodia, and South Africa. By combining skateboarding with creative, arts-based education, they give children the opportunity to become leaders for a better world. Their focus is on groups who are often excluded from sports and educational opportunities, especially girls, children living with disabilities and those from low-income backgrounds. Skateistan provides safe spaces where children can have fun, build their skills and confidence, and break down social barriers by making new friends.

The goal of Skateistan is improved scalability to create greater impact with their program and reach more kids all over the world. We worked together with Skateistan to create Skateistan in a Box which is a modular, customizable and agile Container Classroom/Skatepark system that adapts to the needs of any community or environment. An actionable concept for the planet and its people, with focus on scaling as well as ensuring replicability and speed of rollout.

Through Skateistan in a Box, communities in any location can easily access the resources and support to deliver Skateistan’s award winning educational programs.

Empowering children in a creative space
Focusing on sustainability and usability
Transferring biomimicry principles into practical design
Storyboard drawing of a playful scene, a fenced location with a school container, skateboard ramps and kids everywhere having fun.

Usability & Sustainability

The team contributed with workshops, research, and design development to ensure Skateistan in a Box met the goals circularity, sustainability, robustness and ease of use. We concentrated especially on the kids, to ensure they have a safe place to learn and grow.

We needed to consider everything from the harsh social conditions to varying environmental factors that these communities face. We developed a solution that is easily built, durable, minimal waste and an off-grid system that the community owns and maintains. Gathering all these insights from Skateistan together allowed us to create a solution beneficial for people, planet and prosperity aligned with key circular strategies to close loops.

What makes the box special?

Skateistan in a Box is customized to suit the needs of the kids, educators, and community. The entire design is modular, expandable, and suitable for any environment from desert to urban. In case of an emergency (bombing, sandstorms, floor, or fire) the container can be easily packed and moved.

All you need is 200sqm leveled ground – preferably near existing walls for added protection and mounting of sports activities. Skateistan staff are on-site or virtual to support throughout the build, and all elements including ramps, garden and interiors are flat-pack designed for easy manufacture, build and repair locally.

It is easy to construct and utilizes an upcycled shipping container, cork for insulation and noise damping as well as canvas light shades on the roof to reduce echo. The starter box provides instruction manuals, and guidelines on how to build the flexible interior from local, renewable materials and ramps.

The highlight of the outdoor area is a modular skatepark that can be adjusted for any level from beginners to experts. Combined with the areas for additional sports, reading zones and garden, all compliment the classroom and further foster a child´ s development and growth.

Each school is also equipped with off-grid utilities including solar panels or wind turbines for power, rain water collectors, tippy-tap basin and dry compost toilets. A green double roof better collects rain-water and also passively regulates classroom temperature. Waste is separated between paper, recyclable, non-recyclable and organic. The organic waste can be composted directly into the garden sections. These green areas are especially important to provide relief from sun, sand or a rapidly urbanizing space.

“During the sessions not just the concept but also our vision of what could be possible for Skateistan in a Box came together extremely well. The experience really exceeded our expectations.”

Oliver Percovich, Founder and Executive Director of Skateistan

The container classroom is the center piece to harbor new tools, technologies and a welcoming environment. The schooling area has space for 10- 15 kids, and includes pegboards, storage boxes, lockers and shelving that are quick to build and mount on the walls via a French cleat system. The space is well insulated from outside noise and fully adjustable via folding furniture to suit any classroom activity. New digital tools include a large touchscreen whiteboard with camera, and a Mobile Audio-Visual unit for outdoor conferencing. Both allow for digital schooling to further connect kids to educators and the latest learning opportunities.

Each venue can be easily upgraded and grow with the community. Additional containers can be added at any time as the system is modular, flexible and locally sourced, manufactured and assembled. Easy maintenance is a key feature to ensure longevity and success of the program. Therefore, all interior and exterior components are built with minimum resources and reuse scenarios in mind. Worn out interior can be replaced, while the durable container and installations are built to last.

Skateistan in a Box is designed to be a focal point of any developing community. And can be a preliminary stage for a full fledge school. Skateistan in a Box aims to provide resources and a safe space for all to learn and grow. The community is encouraged to take ownership of the venue and utilize the space for not only day time schooling but also night time activities. This opens up the potential of evening vocational training, markets, and cultural events – further solidifying the venue as one that enriches the entire community.


Storyboard drawing of a night market in the fenced facility of Skateistan in a box. People having fun during leisure time.

Prosperity

  • Excellent allocation of resources at minimal space
  • Tangible concept for acquisition of communities and sponsors alike
  • Optimized cost-benefit ratio through DIY instructions and digital training

People

  • Ownable, safe, and multifunctional space
  • Introducing sustainability concepts to a state remote from education
  • Award winning education concepts for developing countries

Planet

  • Minimal shipping and building cost due to recycled parts, locally sourced materials and detailed DIY instructions
  • Repairability, endurance and modularity as design cornerstones
  • Biomimicry principles transferred to practical design
  • Everything set up for self-sufficiency and minimum waste

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