Design Labs

Recent permaculture design charrette at UMass

The Design Lab plays an important role in participatory design – design of spaces and systems in which all stakeholders participate.  Design labs can also be thought of as a specific type of meeting or workshop in which participants focus on a very specific design project.   Labs (sometimes called “charrettes” in profressional design circles) are often required for designs involving schools, parks, community spaces, business spaces and land operated by non-profit organizations.

Design Labs can range from a few hours to several days.  They also are only one part of a design process that can also include extensive research, assessment, analysis, surveys and interviews – all before the first draft of a design is every created.
What happens at a design lab?

  • Design goals and visions are shared.
  • Opportunities and benefits are identified.
  • Potential obstacles or challenges are also discussed.
  • Breaking out into smaller groups yields create approaches to meeting the goals and overcoming challenges.
  • Key next steps are identified.
  • Attendees become participants in the design process.  

Contact us to check availability or discuss your needs.  Our design students will also be shadowing and/or supporting the Design Lab work in order to gain valuable skills and enhance their educational experience with The Resilience Hub.