Archipelago |  Beyond Architecture
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Workshop Capability

Workshop Capability

Mantle Residential Housing Workshop 2013

Mantle Residential Housing Workshop 2013


Archipelago acknowledges that projects are heterogeneous in nature and rely on the participation of many stakeholders and collaborators to realise the true and often latent potential in any brief.


In master planning with complex stakeholder groups, Archipelago advocates enquiry by design through the workshop model as an effective medium for rapid engagement and results driven outcomes.

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Design Workshops are intended to provide a mechanism to better measure the latent potential of significant projects. Workshops bring a range of eminent minds and a spectrum of expertise to a short, intensive charrette process aimed at investigating through design creative, lateral solutions to complex design problems.

The result of this process is often a better understanding of the bounds inside which solutions may dwell, a broader vision and a greater appreciation of the opportunity. Advocacy from the participants is implicit in the collaborative methodology. The mechanism allows our clients to stay at arm’s length—plumb the depths of the opportunity, increase the understanding of the project, inform the briefing process, and add to the reservoir of thinking about the potential content.

Workshops foster a civic sensibility through a demonstrated commitment to the best total outcome. Complex stakeholder groups can be engaged in an inclusive methodology that garners advocacy and builds trust.

What follows is a description of three types of workshop formats that vary in size, format and outcome. An opinion is offered as to the merits of each and each has its merits. The workshop formats are not gospel and can be tailored to suit particular time lines, project sensitivities, participant availability and other pressures and demands. Cost ranges have been included in respect to the different models discussed and a detailed methodology and a fixed cost structure can be provided once the appropriate model has been decided and the workshop details finalised.

Half Day Launch Pad

This process is a short sharp facilitated workshop that is framed around the development of strategic responses to identified issues.

The workshop is staffed with a wide variety of pertinent expertise – generally the broader and more interesting the participants, the broader and more interesting the outcomes. Inclusion of key stakeholders can facilitate the garnering of advocacy from those involved. An experienced workshop manager facilitates the workshop, and it is that person who controls, focuses, expands, encourages and cajoles to milk from the process the best outcome.

Two Day Charette

The term ‘charette’ evolved from a pre-1900 exercise at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in France. Architectural students were given a design problem to solve within an allotted time. When that time was up, the students would rush their drawings from the studio to the Ecole in a cart called a charrette. Students often jumped in the cart to finish drawings on the way. The term evolved to refer to the intense design exercise itself. Today it refers to a creative process akin to visual brainstorming used by design professionals to develop solutions to a design problem within a limited timeframe.

The Two Day Charette can be adapted to suit the aspirations of the client however a typical format might be as follows

Issues + Design Workshops

This approach to the design workshop is more intensive from a design point of view and involves a series of workshops interspersed with research, testing and analysis to inform the workshop process. In this proposition, one we have experience with on both Kelvin Grove Urban Village and Boggo Road Gaol Precinct Master Plan, a two workshop process straddles a period of analysis and testing. Commonly the design outcome carries the additional weight of a more rigorous design process that follows the design cycle of informing – formulating – testing – reviewing.

Maroochydore Central Master Planning Workshop 2012

Maroochydore Central Master Planning Workshop 2012