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Origin: From French = charrette

At the École des Beaux Arts in Paris in the 19th century, the process started with the launch of a design problem or challenge. The students’ final drawings were collected in a cart (charrette) for final critical assessment by the jury, while the participants were still frantically finishing their work.

Charrette is a methodology for developing complex projects, based on collaboration and participation of professionals, investors, institutions, government agencies and stakeholders in an intense journey of work.

It is a collaborative design and planning workshop, of multiple consecutive days (varies from four to seven days, depending on the complexity), held preferably near the location of the intervention area and with the inclusion of interested parties.

In the planning phase, which takes place before the workshop, the participants, workplace, inputs, food, etc. are selected and ideally begins three months in advance of the work week. After the Charrette has finished, there is still a period of completion of the presentations and compilation of the information developed in the process.

Definition of a Charrette according to the NCI (National Charrette Institute – USA)

  • Usually more and not less than 4 consecutive days;
  • An open process that includes all stakeholders;
  • A collaborative process that involves all disciplines in short series of feedback cycles;
  • A process that produces a viable plan;
  • A generalist and holistic approach;
  • Second phase of a dynamic process with three distinct stages.


A “private Charrette” or “conference Charrette” is closed to the public. The meetings are limited to specialists, a team of designers and developers, selected stakeholders and decision makers.

This private Charrette can take place in a few days less than a public Charrette because it does not carry out validation sessions with the public, open meetings and public presentations, generating time that can be spent in the production of drawings and exhibitions.


The hybrid charrette is the conference Charrette with specific moments of participation.

The public is invited to participate only in selected events and in moments such as an open house and / or a presentation of work evolution.

The purpose of a Charrette is to create a cohesive plan in the short term, which meets the needs and expectations of those involved, minimizing revisions and inconsistencies, which generates savings in resources and development time.