Why does a charrette have to last multiple days?
Answer: 1) Three Feedback Loops, 2) the unexpected and 3) feasible design.
- Three Feedback Loops. One of the unique traits of the charrette is the series of feedback loops with all relevant stakeholders. Three loops are the minimum required to facilitate a change in participants’ perceptions and positions. Within these three major feedback loops, designs are created based upon a public vision, and presented within hours for further review, critique, and refinement.
Four consecutive days are required to accommodate three feedback loops, scheduled at least a day apart. These feedback cycles foster a holistic understanding of complex problems by all participants and form the basis of a plan that reflects all vital viewpoints. It results in true buy-in by everyone involved, who are thereby inspired to support the plan, allowing it to overcome the inevitable challenges on its path to implementation.
- The Unexpected. Multiple-day charrettes provide time and space to change and accommodate unexpected events that often occur in volatile projects. Charrettes have a way of stirring up things (which is good- you would rather have difficulties arise so they can be dealt with on the spot) and you need to have time to work through new issues.
- Feasible Design. NCI charrettes produce detailed, feasible plans that require minimal rework. It takes at least four days for a multi-disciplinary team to develop alternative concepts, merge them into a preferred plan and then to detail and test the plan.