March 30, 2005

Charette

On Monday I was asked to write a small article for work about current goings on with my team and projects. This is a topic I’m intimately familiar with and it only needed to be 2-3 paragraphs. I couldn’t write a word. Completely frozen. Sometimes it is the easy things that seem insurmountable.

What brought me out of my mind blank was writing about the concept of a charette. I am using an approach commonly found among architects, to involve the community in a new project, while moving the project from planning to building.

I learned about charettes from Claire Ann, who in turned had learned about them from her brother-in-law, an architect of public libraries. I love the concepts behind a charette: listen, envision and build.

I conducted a series of charettes last fall, the results of which provided me with the foundation and landscape for a 1500 page web site. A web site built on the end users ideas has made the end users happy and excited. I believe the whole charette process has been very positive for me, my team and the site users.

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