During NeoCon, IIDA hosts an annual Student Design Charette pitting student teams against the clock to produce a project in one work day that creatively solves a design problem they receive that morning. Students are invited from IIDA Campus Centers all over the country and placed in teams with students they’ve never met before. The results produce amazingly inventive design solutions, and provide a one-of-a-kind experience for students.
However, exactly what is a charette? Prior to interning at IIDA, I did not know what a charette was. I had heard it used in conversations, but never had the opportunity to learn what it actually meant.
The original word charette (shuh-ret) is French for “cart” or “chariot,” and is oftentimes times spelled with two r’s as charrette. The process of charette is thought to originate from the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, France during the 19th century when the word was adapted by student architects when they arduously worked on a project close to the end of a term or specific deadline until a cart, or charette, was wheeled in to pick up their work for review. Since then, the process of charette has aligned itself with working tirelessly up until a deadline.
In today’s world, we’ve honed the definition and process of a charette to be a collaborative brainstorm in which a group of designers drafts a solution to a design problem within a limited time to present internally, to clients, or to a panel of judges (as is the case with IIDA’s Student Design Charette). Regardless of the cause or motivation, a charette is an extremely beneficial process that collaboratively harnesses the talents of the group to plan, create, and substantiate a design solution in the interest of a client, group, or community.
As we near the three days of NeoCon in June, stay tuned for more information on IIDA’s 2013 Student Design Charette, and when and where to visit the IIDA booth to observe the process and results of the IIDA Student Design Charette.
Any student – undergrad or graduate – greatly benefits from getting involved in their school and surrounding community. It places you in touch with people who can be valuable resources for your design education and career, and exposes you to new and inspiring places and things that can stimulate your design mind.
One great way to get involved is through the development of social committees to boost networking opportunities and help build professional and personal friendships.
If your design school does not currently have a social committee or social board in charge of creating, planning, and sometimes hosting social events for students than I strongly encourage you to push your school to start one, or help form one on your own or with a group.
As a former social committee member, it was extremely beneficial to play a role in planning social engagements for fellow students (undergrad, graduate, or otherwise). As a committee member, you are able to gain access to students in the same program, or other related programs, and develop close ties with faculty and teachers who often attend events. A great example of this is IIDA Campus Centers that provide an environment where students, educators, administration, and design professionals work together to develop programs and events for their school. Click here to learn more.
From personal experience, merely attending school social events is a great opportunity too, especially when you’re able to meet other students further along in your respective design program. With them, you are able to discuss and share school experiences, learn about helpful classes and teachers, and gain insights into professional opportunities you could potentially pursue.
When a social committee has gained a foothold on campus, try to think of innovative and unique ideas for social events and how they could be conducted. It’s an effective mode of promotion to funnel most of your events through social media, and even live promote during the event through a conduit like Twitter. Make the event inspiring (like going on a tour of local architecture and design), or think about serving the community by incorporating service projects into the social calendar.
To be a part of a social committee or attend social events through your school only helps you as you become more acquainted with the design field, and get to know the people within your future profession. Get out there, and make it happen!
A great daily e-mail subscription for any kind of designer is Fast Company’s Co.Design. The subscription and site wonderfully highlights innovative ideas, projects, and inspirations to spark your design mind every morning.
This past week Co.Design released an article titled, “3 Paths Toward A More Creative Life.”
1. The first path Co.Design focuses on is DISCONNECT. The article explains that it’s an effective practice to be plugged-in and stimulated by the instant-access culture we live in, but it’s oftentimes more important to alleviate our consistently engaged minds by unplugging. To gather our thoughts, allow for introspection, and center ourselves, it’s often helpful to go on a walk or allow extra time in the morning to slowly and comfortably ease our minds into the day. To have a clear, unobstructed mind is infinitely helpful for our creative selves.
2. The second path delves into EXAMINING THE PAST, and how looking at one’s original models of inspiration and creativity cannot only position your designs better, but reinvigorate you in your creative endeavors. That person who stimulated you to become a designer? Look at and educate yourself about their work to inform your future work.
3. Co.Design’s third suggested path towards living a more creative life advises designers to strive to BE MASTERFUL. This path urges designers to do what the great designers do – look for patterns and link two different bodies of knowledge that haven’t existed before. Additionally, look at the obvious, and take what is often deemed banal and make it wholly new.
Personally, some of my best ideas and work have come from retreating into an unplugged environment – that corner of the coffeehouse, the park, or even the shower – where the noise dies down, my head clears, and my eyes are off a screen. As artists and designers, to find these places – whether physically or mentally – is crucial in order to generate effective conduits between you and your next great idea.
Source: Nussbaum, Bruce. “3 Paths Towards a Creative Life.” Co Create, 26 February 2013.
For interior design students, it’s a valuable process to assess what entry-level position you’d like to pursue post-graduation (whether after earning an under-graduate or graduate degree). Below is a sampling of entry-level positions and skill sets, followed by related career paths approaching mid-career and top-level positions. Remember, there are many routes you can take in the interior design field, and each career opportunity presents a specific set of skills and responsibilities. Hopefully, the graphic below (please click to enlarge) can help focus your efforts on where your next step in the ID field will be:
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago
Brothers hailing from France, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec (pron. Boo-roo-lek), took the definition of “Bivouac” (a light-weight, adaptive shelter) and generated an exhibit based around “microarchitecture;” items larger than furniture, but smaller than architecture. The results of their work give us dynamic pieces like Cloud , seen here, that acts as a colorful, multi-layered wall and/or enclosure.
LAB West Lobby
The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas
Las Vegas’s newest and most hip place to stay is The Cosmopolitan, and its West lobby certainly boosts the hotel and entertainment mecca’s cool factor. Designed and constructed by Rockwell Group’s LAB, the lobby features eight large columns wrapped with LCD screens and mirrors to produce beautiful displays, giving visitors a completely unique digital experience.
Winning Best in Category for IIDA’s Best Interiors of Latin America Competition in 2012, the JWT offices from Arquitectura e Interiores is an interior we definitely love. Designed to be a creative environment for the JWT advertising group, this is a space employees and visiting clients alike can certainly enjoy (click to enlarge).
From the Dutch architecture firm, DUS, comes the KamerMaker (or “RoomBuilder”). This state-of-the-art, mobile 3D printer brings grassroots creativity and commercial efficiency together in one inspiring machine. Everyone becomes a designer with the KamerMaker, allowing people to create one-of-a-kind works from inhabitable rooms (max. 6 ft wide, 6 ft long, and 9.5 feet high) to coffee cups; on demand and on-site.
Florez Graphic Resume
Standing out in the design world is difficult, but a well-designed resume can certainly help. This is one of several you will see now that graphically (and uniquely) display personal and professional information rather than being confined to traditional resume formats. This resume speaks to employers about who they are and what they can do – simply, effectively, and creatively.