a mobile studio for community design

As Rochester continues to grow and our downtown strives to increase its diversity of attractions and support of arts and culture, there is an ever-increasing need to get people involved in making change happen.  Cities are complex environments teeming with latent potential and sometimes all that is required is a little spark and a vision to make people excited and motivated to act.

Charette Happens is a mobile design studio that seeks out opportunities to bring people together in a collaborative design process.  Design requires putting people first and responding to human needs.  A charette is rapid collaboration--intended to be equally hectic and exciting.  Time constraints are imposed to limit the analyzing of ideas.  Ideas can be provocative, unusual, or fantastical.  Every idea has merit.  The charette is a transparent design process that spawns creative endeavors.

These small scale attempts to transform the built environment are made manifest with projects such as parklets, pop-up cafes, chair bombing, guerrilla gardening, food carts, etc.  They aim to create an architecture of place.  The credo of this movement is lighter, quicker, cheaper.  Rapid prototyping of creative ideas.  Charette Happens is a metaphorical (and literal) vehicle to translate these ideas into visual illustrations.  They provide a vision of a future that people can believe in, be inspired by, and work toward.