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Definition: A period of intense work, especially group work, undertaken to meet a deadline.

Pronunciation: shuh-RET


Originating in 19th century France, charrette derives from the French chariot, with a great story to connect the loan meaning to the original meaning. Professors of the Ecole de Beaux Arts, used to circle around town with little carts, collecting last minute drawings from their students who’d jump on that chariot to apply their works with final touches just a moment before deadline.

Why this word?

Originally, this word was coined specifically for showing a process (final touch-ups) for designers, but because of its wide application and use, it pervaded into other realms as well. People belonging to various fields like Architecture, Graphic Designing, Industrial Designing, et cetera use this word much often. It is pretty usual for them to work in zero hours. For others, I think it’s all about priorities.

Charrette is a great word to have since is describes this great process of group thinking, mutual feedback and generation of better ideas. Charrettes also allow all participants to be joint authors of a great plan.

I think all my student brethrens would love this word, for this “charrette” is what we sometimes consider the most important source before appearing for examinations we are not prepared for.

Some students (like me) completely rely on it.

Calvin and Hobbs






(Credit to Bill Watterson)

How to use the word charrette in a sentence?

Whenever I see this word, an office room comes into my view with its stressed employees catapulting globs from one place to another with their boss stooping down and whining about the unforeseeable target.

The charrette was conducted by the city’s consultant with assistance from city planning staff and a steering committee.

The fellows organized a design charrette, a brainstorming session with Holloway clients and other stakeholders, plus representatives from the horticulture community.


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Written by Akshay Dashore

Akshay is a Civil engineer who, for his love of words, preferred words over engineering. He is an avid reader and a prolific writer.


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