Parkour and the Build Environment: Spatial Practices and the Plasticity of School Buildings


  • Elizabeth de Freitas


The purpose of this paper is to explore 'subversive' spatial practices as symbolic and material instances of resistance that target the physical contours of buildings and dislocate the structuring binary of inside/outside. I focus on issues of perception, mobility and corporeality in theoretical writing on the built environment. I examine Parkour, a popular form of youth culture described as the 'art of movement', and argue that it is a tactic of spatial misuse that strategically confronts the totalizing space of the school building, redefines the built environment, and puts the body back into school architecture.

Author Biography

Elizabeth de Freitas

Elizabeth de Freitas is an associate professor in the School of Education of Adelphi University.






Cultural Studies and Curriculum