Special Project ~ Biola Charette
Biola/Azusa Design Charette—Spring 2012
The word charette refers to a collaborative workshop in which a group of individuals drafts a solution to a design problem. Charettes often take place in multiple sessions where the group divides into sub-groups. Each sub-group then presents its work to the full group as material for future dialogue. Charettes serve as a way to quickly generate a design solution while integrating the aptitudes and interests of a diverse group of people. The Biola Art Department’s first charette focused on designing an outdoor chapel for Orange County Rescue Mission’s Double R Ranch in Warner Springs. CA. The charette occurred on Biola’s campus the weekend of April 20 – 22, 2012, in the Periodicals Reading Room of the Biola University Library.
The charette was unique, offering new ways to think about bringing diverse groups of people together to solve difficult problems. It was intercollegiate, composed of 11 art students from Azusa Pacific University and 10 art students from Biola University. It was lead by a group of outstanding professionals including: Paul Bartelli and Ashley Sullivan (noted architects from Montana), Peter Brandes and Maja Lisa Engelhardt (Danish artists), Howard and Roberta Ahmanson (arts advocates and philanthropists), and Jim Palmer and his team (Orange County Rescue Mission and Double R Ranch). After working with their cohort for over twenty-four hours together, the five groups gave formal presentations of five potential outdoor chapel solutions on Sunday, April 22, in Crowell Business Auditorium. Many of the students that participated felt this was by far the most profound experience of their undergraduate education.