A charette, loosely defined, is an event where a group of people come together for a brainstorming session about an issue. In our case, the issue is usually about potential project site: what resources do we have? what does the community wish to see? how do we want to use the space?
We invite all the associated parties of the site to gather and have an organized discussion. If the site is at a school, we ask students, parents, school administrators, staff members, neighbours, designers, contractors to sit down and talk about their thoughts. We use these ideas to create a list of priorities (for example: safety, educational value, possible outdoor classroom). Then, the designers create a few options and put them onto paper for everyone to critique. We make adjustments accordingly and present a final design is presented.
The final design is not always what gets build at the end, but it serves as a base plan that ideally addresses as much factors as we can in a short period. Sometimes we need to do further fine tuning of the details, but this is the way we make sure everyone's concerns are heard.
If you have an unused empty space and would like UHC to be involved in a charette, please send us an email through the Contact page.