AT THE ANNUAL KEA CHARRETTE, 80 STUDENTS FROM KEA AND INTERNATIONAL PARTNER INSTITUTIONS DELVED INTO AN INTENSE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT, CHALLENGING THEIR INTERCULTURAL AND INTERDISCIPLINARY SKILLS. THE ONE-WEEK PROCESS REQUIRED STUDENTS TO DEVELOP SOLUTIONS TO A REAL-LIFE CASE.
KEA held its annual Charrette during in October of 2015. Eighty students gathered for the event, including 65 international students from our various partner institutions around the world.
The students worked in groups on cases involving waste management solutions of four different sites. The cases were provided by local environmental organization Miljøpunkt Nørrebro.
1 Week; 4 sites; 120 students and advisors
Waste management is not the sexiest subject area, but it is an important topic for larger city communities: How do you create viable and attractive trash solutions that minimize waste and maximize user involvement? Each interdisciplinary student group would develop a physical design, a digital intervention, a visual brand, and a communication strategy to market their solution.
The Charrette gives the students an opportunity to experience a real-life working environment. It requires them to work across borders and specializations to reach a common goal – and that within a very tight deadline. Herman Bailey, the Academic Project Coordinator explains the impact: “… they gain new perspectives on how their own professional skillset can be placed in a new context. They learn a lot about themselves as people and how they handle new situations and they also have a lot of fun.”.
8 Innovative Solutions
The group premise of the Charrette workshop encourages the students to do their very best and on throughout the week the mood in the workrooms got increasingly intense as groups developed their concepts for presentation.
From Tuesday student groups were joined each afternoon by a team of advisors consisting of academics and professionals. The advisor teams would encourage, critique and harness the students ideas and sometimes affect an overnight change of concept – taking full advantage of the long KEA opening hours.
The intensive work paid off on Friday as students displayed their results in an IGNITE presentation and exhibition. A team of judges evaluated each project and handed out appropriate critique and praise. For Anders Jørn Jensen, the manager at Miljøpunkt Nørrebro this was a positive experience: “We in the organization look forward to working with these ideas in the future.”.
Unlimited Network Opportunities
The Charrette impact is not limited to the specific calendar week. The waves created in the workshop week extend beyond the immediate results and solutions as students create networks that transcend nationalities and subject areas.
As one student expounds: “It’s eye-opening. You don’t get a chance to do this anywhere else while you are studying (…) This has to become a part of our education if we want to make the world better ”