It’s not every day that students in the Department of Interior Architecture & Design are asked to design a meeting place for a secret society, complete with passwords and procedures for accessing its hidden passageways. However, such a task was the recent subject of the Department of Interior Architecture & Design’s 9th annual Student Design Charrette. The yearly charrette experience assembles groups of sophomore, junior, senior students into newly acquainted teams, challenging them to work together over a 96-hour period to generate a rich graphic solution to a fantastical design scenario problem. Graduate students are also invited to participate.
This year the students were required to address the purpose of the hidden place, the users who inhabited the place, the pathway leading to it, and the means to access its entrance. Student teams created the lore of the secret society, the symbology codes that the users relied on to communicate and enter the secret place, and the interior of the place itself. The purpose of the yearly Charette is to build community amongst students, offer the opportunity to work across expertise boundaries, develop the ability to ideate quickly, and build the skills that helps one collaborate well. Faculty within the department judged the work, which is currently on display in the William Johnston Building first floor hallway along the north side of the building.
The annual Charrette is led by IA&D associate professor Steven Webber, who initiated the Charette in 2013. Over these nine years, the annual Charrette has engaged 256 teams of students (over 1,000 participants) in this 4-day design project. The outcomes of the Charrette have found their way into many students’ portfolios, prompting employers across the country to comment on the breadth of students’ creative design solutions and engaging graphics. Past project scenarios have included a zombie apocalypse safe house, a correctional facility for comic book supervillains, a space inspired by Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, and a mind palace.
The Department congratulates all participating students this year’s Charette, and also the top student projects as assessed by concept, adherence to requirements, graphic communications and other criteria, reviewed by faculty. Team numbers listed below are located at the top left of the showcased posters in the William B. Johnston Building.
First Place: Team 347
Second Place: Team 345
Third Place: Team 350
Honorable Mention: Team 346
Honorable Mention: Team 331
Honorable Mention: Team 356