IE University’s Professor Maxon Higbee hosted the first Skateboarding class in Europe on September 28th, 2021 at the Segovia Skate Park.
Professor Higbee was awarded a World Less Traveled Grant in 2010 for his work on a project proposed in Madrid, he’s an experienced artist and co-director of The Windor in Madrid, which exhibits artists’ work every month. He also works as a Professor in the Architecture department at IE University.
The idea for the class came about when Professor Higbee noticed that although many students at IE owned skateboards, no Skateboarding club existed. After having this realization, he set out to create a Skateboarding Seminar. This seminar allows students to combine classic IE Business strategies with their interest in skateboarding, to design their own campaign. Students have to create a campaign that could work in the world of skateboarding using their own content, knowledge about the culture and history, and their own pictures.
“One big part of skateboarding is a ‘do it yourself,’ DIY, attitude. They’re not allowed to take from anything else, they have to make all the content today, so that’s what they’re doing today. And then next week we’re going to start printing our logos on T-Shirts in the FAB Lab at IE. That’s also going to be a DIY workshop. So they’ll be doing screenprinting and block printing,” Professor Higbee explained.
Students were eager to help each other with parts of the project others were uncomfortable with. For example, many students were helping each other learn how to do the tricks. Others were showing each other how to take pictures. One student named Tancrede is studying Communications and Digital Media, where he took a Photography and Video Production course. During the class, he took the initiative to help other students learn how to capture the images for their content.
This helpful environment led many students to have a positive impression and expectation for the class. For example, when asked what his expectations for the course were, one of the students named Adam said, “I mean just have fun really, maybe get a better knowledge for everything. But mostly just have fun, enjoy, relax, meet new people.” This sentiment was shared by all the students interviewed. They wanted to have fun and gain a better appreciation for skateboarding.
When asked what his final hopes for the class were Professor Higbee said, “I hope the ones who never skateboarded, which I think are about half, just start skateboarding. I mean that would be the best thing. For me, skateboarding is just fun and freedom, and I think if you can increase that in the world — not to sound cheesy — that’s a good thing!”