Workshop Exercises: Ideate

Design Charrette

Collaboratively sketch designs to explore ideas across disciplines

Illustration of Design Charrette
Run a Design Charrette play

Alternative plays: Crazy Eights, Round Robin

Follow-up plays: How Might We, Mash-up, Round Robin

Timing: Discovery

Run time
30-45 minutes

Group size

Why: foster collaboration and holistic thinking by exploring ideas across multiple disciplines through sketching

When: During the early stages of a project when diverse perspectives can inform the creative process

This workshop exercise is part of the Workshop Patterns printed card deck.

A collection of workshop exercises that will help you ditch dull meetings and facilitate with confidence. It will help you master the design process and have more productive time with your team. The card deck will be ready for purchase in the end of 2023 and is now undergoing rigorous testing.

Reserve your deck!

Instructions for running this play

  1. Frame the problem. Agree on the challenge or question you want to explore as a group. How Might We is a great way to frame the question.
  2. Distribute paper and pens to all participants.
  3. Allot a Timebox of 5 minutes for each participant to silently sketch his or her ideas. Encourage sketching multiple ideas.
  4. Let each participant Playback their sketched ideas and their reasoning to the group, Timeboxed for 2 minutes.
  5. Let the group ask questions to each sketcher in a Timebox of one minute.
  6. Collect all the sketches.
  7. If you are working with multiple groups, consider passing ideas from one group to the other, Round Robin style.

Tips to perfect this play

Master and adapt the play to fit your context and needs.


Let each round focus on a different aspect of the problem, promoting diverse perspectives

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Relieve initial group awkwardness and establish a safe space

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