This story starts with three curious people: Louise Ma, Rich Watts and Caroline Woolard – all interested in the power of sharing. Together they pulled-off a remarkable 35 days of the first ever Trade School series: 76 sessions of knowledge bartering, bringing together over 800 people to teach and learn based on the most simple exchange system – knowledge for anything else. Sessions ran from how to make compost to strategies at scrabble, grant writing to ghost hunting. “Barter for instruction” allows people who have a skill (at anything) to share it with others who are interested to learn, in exchange for one of the teacher’s requested items: objects, artwork, advice, a service, or food, ie. just about anything. ‘Students’ were mixing CDs, painting and planting flowers, and buying special cheese for their teachers.
This was the beginning of Trade School in New York – and now, only 3 years in, the coop has spread across the world to 10 more locations, including Milan, Singapore, and of course London. In April 2012 four Londoners got together and launched Trade School London opening with 13 classes in their first season, hosted by FARM:shop Dalston, in Hackney – an urban farm / cafe, using as its classrooms the spaces surrounded by growing salad veg. This summer, Trade School London is going outdoors! The summer season is being hosted in Canning Town’s very own Caravanserai’s open-air classrooms – opening Sunday 1 July.
So now our question to you is, what could you teach? And what better way to receive something in exchange for your gold nuggets of knowledge, but something you truly need or desire.
Classes offered so far include revamping furniture in exchange for linseeds oil or brushes; how to make icecream in exchange for cookbooks or cupcakes; photography in exchange for camera film or books; and lantern making in exchange for plants or interesting wood.
Check it out, and have a think… what can you exchange?
Teachers and students welcome! Click here to register to teach, or sign up for a class.
Trade School New York. Credit: Tal Beery. Source.