Developing sustainable tourism through an international charrette

What’s a Charrette? Where’s Lota? You may not know either of those answers, but these lead to a very interesting experience, when I had the opportunity to participate in an international design collaboration with the focus of developing sustainable tourism for the city of Lota, Chile.

Over 100 Students from 6 Schools out of 9 Countries formed 9 Teams who ate 864 Slices of pizza, along with 38 Expert Advisors – all together for this Charrette over 5 days at George Brown College’s School of Design.

If you’re wondering what a charrette is, the IwB website has a great description:

“A charrette is an intensive, collaborative process that brings together community members and professionals to develop innovative solutions for complex issues. Over a few short days of brainstorming, discussion and expert consultation, teams create a broad range of ideas around the central theme.”

The task of our particular team was to create a boutique hotel designed to feature local arts and culture, centrally located beside the Plaza de Armas and offering tourists rooms at a variety of rates and amenities. We called it Soneto Hotel. Being graphic design students a few of us worked in a sub-group on branding this hotel.

The Institute without Boundaries website describes the end result:

After just 4 days, the designs were thorough, imaginative and practical. A panel made up of representatives from each of the 3 international schools as well as the IwB / George Brown College evaluated all the final designs in a day-long presentation session, and the top three designs were awarded badges of recognition, but the judges had something positive to say about each and every one of the projects that were presented.

Presenting our team’s final concept to the advisors and other participants:

(The above photos of the event are by Michelle.)

Though it was intense and time consuming, overall it was a very interesting experience and a great opportunity to work with students including those outside of OCAD University and even outside Canada.

Our final project along with all other groups’ work can be found here.

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