DET And IDT Charrette

This year’s design charrette was held on January 23-25. The charrette is an intense period of collaborative designing. Students are placed in teams and given a design problem they have to completely solve in 48 hours. During that time, they must find solutions for the problem, create a video, and produce design boards. Team submissions are then judged by various design-build professionals. “Most of them come un-showered, having no sleep for three days, and they throw their projects on the table at 4 o’clock when they’re due,” said Jacie Johnson, associate instructor of interior design.

Each year Interior Design students collaborate with Design Engineering Technology students from the College of Applied Science and Technology at Weber State University to solve a design problem in a 48-hour period. This year’s challenge was for the students to create a concept for the D2 lobby space. This year’s winning team was comprised of Rachel Malan (IDT), Candice Bussdeiker (IDT), Skyler Orgill (DET), and Matthew Knight (DET).

Last year’s challenge was a mock-trial makeover of the dining room and lobby of the Ben Lomond Suites. Despite the limited amount of time to brainstorm and construct, Johnson said she is always impressed with the quality of work her students present.

Overman, who will participate in this year’s design charrette for the first time, said she was excited for the hands-on design experience. “In school, it’s just these make-believe projects. The charrette is actually fixing a problem and doing what we love to do.”

Called a design charrette, this collaborative problem-solving technique is common in the design-build industry in which various disciplines come together to form a cohort to solve a design problem.  Charrettes serve as a way of quickly generating a design solution while integrating the aptitudes and interests of a diverse group of people. This design charrette gives students a real-life example of working in a team situation with other disciplines to come up with a creative design solution in a short period of time. Design problems range from international humanitarian focus to local design-build challenges.

Written By Melina Padilla