Parallel School for non-institutional learning

Alternative Education Programme

Agile City is interested in education models that tackle the traditional teacher/student relationship within institutions. Whether it’s about the curriculum itself, a collective way of doing or the openness of the institution, we will be sharing some initiatives in this series of posts. Here we’re looking at Parallel School:

“Parallel School belongs to no one.
Parallel School has no location.
Parallel School is not teaching.
Parallel School is learning.”

Parallel School is a 5 day alternative education programme that offers an open environment for self-education in the broader context of art and design. It started in Berlin, but now works across countries and locations (Brno, Glasgow, Moscow, London, Paris, Lausanne, Leipzig…)
Parallel School encapsulates the idea of non-institutional, self-organised education in the broader context of Art and Design. The idea is that anyone around the world, whether currently a student or not, can create a new type of school, parallel to existing ones. It serves as a structure to share knowledge, connect with other individuals and initiate projects and workshops. But it can be anything. Self-education and sharing knowledge are possibilities through which we can engage emphatically with one another.

The goal is to bring people from different places and different backgrounds, not only from the world of (graphic) design to work in an autonomous, self-set open structure. The focus is on topics that participants propose around the subject of education and guests and lecturers from different disciplines are invited to complement the workshop series. In the spirit of self-education every participant holds a short workshop, conducts a discussion or does whatever suits best to share her/his interests or specialties.

“We believe that inspiring and productive situations can be created without hierarchy.”

Parallel School Leipzig


parallel school

Parallel invitation to London launch of Think Twice Before you Think – The magazine is the outcome of a year long collaboration between PS participants, Toni Brell (Berlin), Sophie Dyer (London) and A Feral Studio (Glasgow), which began with a radical pedagogy workshop in Scotland last winter – more here

Follow the activity of the Parallel School on their website, Facebook and check their research about radical pedagogy here

If you’ve already participated in one or some of these educational programmes or if you know of any other programmes that use a different method with a similar purpose, or even better, if you invented one of these programmes and want to share your opinion on it please get in touch via [email protected] or in the comment section.