The Charrette

Charrette [shuh-ret]: The French word for ‘cart’ used in 19C design schools in France to collect the final projects of design students for the purposes of grading. Within a contemporary design context, charrette is a word popular in urban planning used to describe an intense period of design, often occurring over a concentrated period of time within a team or group setting, in which a design solution is developed.

3 thoughts on “The Charrette

  1. The intense period of design is named after the fact that design students would work while riding these Charrette carts on the way to school right up to the final deadlines.

    1. Hi Esmond,

      I’ve read that it was the prof’s used it to collect the final designs but it’s interesting to hear that students actually rode the carts. Thanks for sharing. – AY

  2. Another version is that the cart would come along to collect the projects, and students would frantically try and finish their projects before the cart came to them. That is common in today’s design studios. Maybe that’s along the lines of what you read. Whatever the details are, the essence of Charrette practice and the cart itself, is in intensity.

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