The Swap-up Shop, has been developed in a workshop run by designers Anja Groten and Florian Pfeffer, from Amsterdam, during the Otis Design Week, in the context of the symposium Untitled: Variations in Design Practice.
In the light of her interest in alternative currencies, Anja Groten was asked to give a workshops about value at Otis College of Art and Design, in Los Angeles.
Kali Nikitas, the chair of the Master Design program had the idea to organize a Swap Shop together with 2 other people a year ago and asked Anja Groten to facilitate the workshop together with Florian Pfeffer.
The workshop was held recently from 11 to 16th of June 2012 and resulted in a one day shop concept and revaluation system. All people invited to the conference had to bring one object which they wanted to swap for another. The whole process of evaluating and swapping was subjective and intuitive and was organized by the group of students, who made up the core of workshop participants. The discussions during the workshop revolved around questions such as the designers' role in visual representation and the organization of value. How could the method of swapping be translated directly in a design process? In what ways can a designer develop a commentary on something as arbitrary such as value?
The idea is that the Swap Up Shop could grow into a bigger "movement" and could be picked up by anyone.
Along with a team of MFA students the shop concept, visual identity and performative aspect of the Swap-Up-shop have been created so that the Shop now can travel around the world. At this very moment, the workshop organizers are working with one of the students on finalize the website.