Dechen, Cami, and Catherine hit the ground running with the Open Sketchbook of Aurora Avenue. The team created an engaging atmosphere by setting up a projector to show the drive up and down Aurora Ave. as well as hang historic and recent photos of the street. Welcoming their guests, Louissa Iarocci and Rob Hutchison, they went right into the charette discussing personal impressions of Aurora Avenue and its history.
The participants worked diligently to incorporate their guests into conversations related the their strengths and experience. After about a half hour, the hosts and guests came to a shared comfort level where they could get down to questions beyond the initial wash.
The team members seemed to self-select into their own roles, while there seemed to be some hesitance to invite the guests into specific roles- defaulting to seeing where the guests wished to go. Decisions were consensus based, there were few discernable moments of singular, authoritative leadership. There were no outright disagreements during the session, so there were few opportunities for leadership to be overt.
The guests were invited to engage the subject matter at a thorough level. It seemed like there were various moments in the charette when the students deferred decision-making to them, sometimes in important decisions that the students might have engaged more fully.
Many thoughtful observations were made, some quite impressive for the amount of time available to the charette participants. A number of comments concerned with the way we related to Aurora were thought provoking, and a number of those were clearly portrayed in the deliverable objects produced by the charette team. Sketches, models and thoughtful notes brought the charette to a close and left observers eagerly awaiting what the next week will bring.
-Carolyn Foster, Kate Reef, Ian Schmidt