In an interconnected world that thrives upon immediate communication through such interfaces as e-mail, Facebook and Twitter, design programs are challenged to find opportunities to promote interpersonal and interdisciplinary interaction.
The design charrette, historically an individual pursuit of intensely focused work, can be an academic tool that capitalizes upon students’ impulses toward social networking by introducing interdisciplinary teamwork around projects of social importance. The intense, focused time frame of the charrette, the exposure to ideas from many individuals, and the benefits of face-to-face interactions expand the charrette into an opportunity for dynamic interpersonal collaboration.
This paper assesses annual interdisciplinary design charrettes at Drexel University through a review of event preparation, project outlines, student interactions and tangible outcomes. The assigned projects for the charrettes, both global and local, share common goals of the need for sustainable design proposals, universal access, and community outreach. In these charrettes, undergraduate and graduate students collaborate on design projects, relying on their teammates’ skills from disciplines that include Civil and Architectural Engineering, Anthropology, Biomedicine, Entertainment and Arts Management, Graphic Design, Information Systems, Public Health, Digital Media, Legal Studies, Economics, Architecture and Interiors.
By facilitating collaboration, the design charettes enabled these diverse participants to develop richly varied projects that built upon each individual’s strengths in a common, open forum.
|Keywords:||Charrette, Interdisciplinary, Teamwork, Drexel, Global, Local, Community Outreach, Universal Access, Collaboration|
Instructor, Department of Architecture + Interiors, Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, USA
Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture + Interiors, Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, USA
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