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Montessori School of SA Community Charrette

Posted by on 1/28/13 at 04:22pm

Two Mondays ago, Greg, Cameron and I met up for a kick-off charrette with the parents of the Montessori  School of San Antonio. The crowd of 40+ split into tables of 6 – 8 and participated in a three-part exercise that would spark imagination and help us understand what is important to the Montessori community.

‘What’s in a word?’  was the first exercise where each group had about 10 minutes to scribble down a number of concise terms that describe the qualities and expectations of what the new addition could become.  Many of the groups came up with common goals such as “personalized/individualized”  “timeless” and “hands-on.”

Things turned visual in the 2nd exercise ‘image station rotation’ where the participants were given 10 post-its and able to browse 60+ images of inspirational spaces. Then images were broken down into three categories: learning environments, outdoor environments, and Health and fitness centers’ and were encouraged to tag and comment on.  It was really fun and enlightening to see which images did and did not “make the cut.” Back at the office we scanned in all the images and post-its which gave us a great resource to pile over and study more in-depth as to the special qualities that were envisioned.

In the last exercise ‘buildings ideas’ each team gathered over a large site map with programmatic blocks and used these to hash out adjacencies and discover their ideal Montessori campus map. Through each group’s final presentation of the elaborate models, obvious connections could be made throughout.

All together it was a great evening, energetic crowd, and it’s safe to assume it’s paved the way for a successful project!130114_MSSA_CommunityCharrette_ 032130114_MSSA_CommunityCharrette_ 038130114_MSSA_CommunityCharrette_ 056

  • beachiebw

    This sounds like a legitimate outreach for ideas, late enough and specific enough that you had choices to give the people, but early enough that you had not already decided. I am impressed, since the City of Santa Monica has only rigged charades, and this is the only place I have ever been to such meetings, so I thought they all were shams and scams.