But You Forgot About: Buildering

September 25, 2007

Web Urbanist is a pretty great blog when you’re looking for something that surveys trends in urban culture and art; it is a good counterpoint to a site like Wooster Collective, which posts more frequently but usually with only one work or artist per post.

Web Urbanist recently covered a variety of urban sports and in the time-honored tradition of this sort of list, I felt there was one unfairly left off. Buildering is in a way similar to parkour as a means of reappropriating urban space, although different in that it has been grafted onto the city experience, while parkour has developed whole-sale out of it.

Buildering is a portmanteau of the word “bouldering,” meaning rock climbing usually done low to the ground and without ropes, and the word “building.” I think the meaning of the word “building” is fairly widespread.


The footwork and other technical aspects of buildering aren’t very flashy and don’t lend themselves to melodramatic fisheye lens shots like the other sports of which Web Urbanist had video. All the same its hard not to admire the strength of the athletes and their ingenuity of finding places to climb in an otherwise unscalable environment. One more video of a buildering competition in Cologne, Germany: