KEA held its annual Charrette during week 42. Seventy students gathered for the event, including 60 international students from our various partner institutions around the world.
The students worked in groups on cases involving the urban renewal of four different sites. The cases were provided by Frederiksberg Municipality and Cobe Architects.
A challenging learning environment
The cases are taken from real-life projects, but the learning environment created in the Charrette is just as important in terms of preparing students for “reality”. The group work involves a learning environment that presents intercultural and interdisciplinary challenges. According to many of the participants, the interdisciplinary aspects of the project present the greatest challenges.
This setting reflects the reality that students will have to work in after completing their studies, as they can expect jobs that demand cooperation internationally and across professions.
The Charrette is an intense learning process that is both challenging and rewarding. Project manager Herman Bailey says:
“It inspires me to see how the students are already able to reflect on what they have learned during the week. They undergo an intense period of development, where they learn about themselves and their roles in such a context.”
We don’t want to go home
This learning journey captivates the students, who work intensely throughout the week. The only real cause of discontent during the Charrette was when KEA closed at 10.00pm every day. The students simply did not want to go home.
The Charrette is by no means a holiday week where international students have a chance to discover Copenhagen. It is hard work, all the time, according to project manager Herman Bailey:
“A mutual expectation is quickly established in the groups that they will strive to deliver an excellent result.”
High level of professionalism
The strong efforts by students are supported throughout the week by 40 advisors affiliated with the project. The advisors include experts from KEA’s own organisation, as well as international partners and corporate representatives.
The students were proud and relieved to present their inspiring proposals with a high level of professionalism on the last day of the Charrette. Then they headed home, taking with them greater personal insight as a result of the week’s activities.
According to Eva Valcke, head of KEA Global, this is also the project’s main objective for students:
“It’s great to see the strong professional development in the midst of the interdisciplinary and intercultural challenges. It is very intense.”
The ideas from the presentations will now be conveyed to the organisations that provided the cases, who can use the proposals as input for their own work on these assignments.