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Charrette 11

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For the first time the BIID collaborated with the American Institute of
Architects (AIA) on their annual student charrette. In the last part of
the nineteenth century at the architecture department of the École des
Beaux-Arts in Paris, a charrette or small cart, would be wheeled into
the design studio collecting students' work to take to the reviewing
jury. The less organised students often walked alongside the cart
finishing their drawings and were said to be working ‘en charrette.'
This has now come to mean an intensive design process.

The charrette saw students being divided into groups for a day of
intensive problem solving. The groups compete to produce the best
solutions possible to a design assignment given at the beginning of the
day and are guided by professional architects, interior designers and

Architect Stephen Yakeley a founding member of the board of the AIA's UK
chapter realised that their annual charrette held the potential of
being an event for both architect students and interior design students
alike. BIID President, Diana Yakeley and associate director Hayley
Manning, welcomed the idea. When approached Brianne Page and Shannon
Piatek, who were running this year's charrette, responded with
enthusiasm. The charrette has always been well attended and this year
there was an addition of interior design students from amongst others
London Metropolitan University and University College Falmouth.

This years' challenge was to design an extension to the British Museum,
which lies just around the corner from the Architectural Association in
Bedford Square where the charrette was held. The students were split
into 9 teams and one mentor was appointed to each group before they
received their brief. The teams visited the British Museum before going
back to the Architectural Association to start their work. The groups
had until 4.30pm to finish the assignment and creative sparks were

Paul Finch CBE, head of Design Council CABE, chaired the jury and was joined on the judging panel by Graeme Brooker, head of Interior Educators, and Stephan Reinke, the first
president of the AIA UK. There is no doubt that the quality of work was
very high, but there had to be winners and first place went to
Canterbury University, second place went to Cambridge University and
third place went to the interior design students of Chelsea college of
Art and Design (pictured above).

At the end of the day there seemed to be a consensus that it had been an
absolutely exhilarating, if exhausting, experience. This was a success
which will hopefully be repeated next year!

Go to our Facebook page to see more pictures from the charrette!