ARCdI and NCI to Partner and Develop a Charrette Certification for Campuses

by Ray Barclay

The National Charette Institute (NCI) at Michigan State University School of Planning, Design, and Construction and ARCdI are working together to provide to ARCdI members introductory and advanced training and certification in charrette design, implementation, consensus building, charettes for and integrative team development.  We plan to have our first trainings ready by Fall 2021. NCI “is dedicated to transforming the way people work together by building capacity for collaboration by design.”  The partnership will yield a framework that is focused on the campus-community nexus and pertinent to those stakeholders seeking to devlop their skills in this process.  The expectation is that the series will context work and case studies through a higher education lens.  :

  • CI Charrette System™ Certificate Training: A 2.5-day training that provides the core skills for planning and running a project with full collaboration.
  • NCI Charrette Management and Facilitation™ Certificate Training: An advanced one-day training that equips charrette managers with the essential tools and techniques required to manage a fast-paced multiple-day charrette.

Members will receive a discount on the sessions and be elibile for AIA credits.  More details will be released in the coming weeks.

A bit more about the values, approach, and methodology of the Charrette process follows below:

Everything we do at NCI comes from the learnings of hundreds of charrettes spanning 30 years of practice. These multiple-day charrettes, conducted in the complex and often contentious world of community planning, provide powerful strategies and techniques for efficiently co-creating innovative, achievable solutions for any government or business project.

The NCI Charrette ideology draws on the secret to creativity known by artists and architects for centuries, that the most creative way to work is to become immersed in a problem for an uninterrupted period of time, often several days. Rather than chipping away at a problem one meeting at a time over a period of weeks or months, the NCI Charrette approach brings specialists together for an uninterrupted work session to break through to a creative solution. What typically takes months, is accomplished in a fraction of the time.

Working Together Efficiently
The NCI Charrette methodology shows us how to break down single-interest silos and work together efficiently, avoiding the syndrome of endless series of meetings. Charrettes bring together experts and stakeholders to work collectively on a single focus to create a design solution. Silos crumble as shared learning occurs and disparate viewpoints collaborate on a design problem.

Conflict as an Opportunity
The NCI Charrette ideology views conflict as an opportunity to transform perceptions and positions. Designers recognize that innovative solutions are often fueled by what may appear at first to be confusion, conflict or chaos. Inclusion and listening are the first steps toward recognizing when conflict actually represents an opportunity.

Transformative Collaboration
The NCI Charrette approach teaches us how to work. It teaches us about time compression, collaboration and cross-functional design, the advantages of studying the details and the whole. We learn that if we involve the right people and the right data early and often, we will reduce rework, and shared vision and understanding will emerge.

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