How to best use the gallery during a charrette

As you know, the charrette studio is open to the public virtually any time the design team is working.

As you know, the charrette studio is open to the public virtually any time the design team is working. The great overall advantage is that this affords the maximum number of opportunities for people to participate according to their personal schedules and time constraints. It also allows the design team to create and foster relationships with members of the community.

However, if not properly managed, the design team will be unable to accomplish its work because of constant interruptions. What follows are quick tips on how to employ a charrette gallery to foster public involvement as well as separate the designers’ work space from a constant influx of people.

  • The gallery acts as a reception area for visitors to the charrette studio. Ideally it is positioned at the entrance to the studio and is separate from the design team’s workspace.
  • All of the ongoing drawings are posted in the gallery daily.
  • The gallery should have a reception desk staffed by a person knowledgeable about the process and project to act as the “greeter.”
  • The greeter determines who each visitor is and asks him/her to sign in. Then, the greeter presents all of the most recent drawings and solicits the visitor’s feedback.
  • The visitor is encouraged to either write his/her comments down or to share his/her thoughts with the greeter or any other available member of the charrette team. The visitor should be told immediately that his/her comments will be communicated to the design team.
  • The greeter should pass the visitors’ comments on to the design team several times per day.There are certain visitors who, because of their role in the project, are invited into the workspace to speak one-on-one with the designers. In addition, there are scheduled meetings with key stakeholders at the studio. However, for the most part, the aforementioned process works very well and serves the dual purpose of encouraging and soliciting public feedback as well as creating a buffer zone for the design team.

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