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College of Environment and Design

Design Charrettes

What is a Charrette?

“Charrette” describes a rapid, intensive, and creative work session, usually lasting several days, in which a design team focuses on a particular design problem and arrives at a collaborative solution. Charrettes are product-oriented. The public charrette is fast becoming a preferred way to face the planning challenges confronting American cities. The Center for Community Design & Preservation (CCDP) has conducted over 100 design charrettes since 1997. 

Featured Past Charrettes Charrette Reports | Archive  

For students: FAQs about charrettes  For communities: Charrette Handout

Upcoming Charrettes

Kaolin MineKaolin Museum Charrette | Sandersville GA | Oct 19-21, 2018

Your expertise is needed for a charrette in Sandersville, GA —the “Kaolin Capital of the World!”

Sandersville lies on the Fall Line of Georgia. Beneath layers of fossils is a large, high-quality deposit of kaolin clay. Since colonial times, it has been mined for use primarily as a paper coating or ceramic clay. Recently the community in Sandersville proposed a natural history museum with focus to kaolin: the geology, industry, and culture surrounding it. The museum could be a science education facility as well as a cultural history center. It might be housed in a vacant historic elementary school, or perhaps a new building designed for the purpose. The community seeks ideas about location/connectivity, building exteriors, exhibit programming, and a vision for moving forward. We will also be hearing from students in the Institute for Leadership Advancement program at Terry College of Business, who have been working with the community to evaluate the museum’s financial viability.

This charrette is open to all CED students.  Students in museum studies, geology, history, education and related programs are also welcome! To participate, you must be able to commit to the 3-day event and be excused from classes and other obligations. Space is limited! To sign-up, contact Jennifer Lewis, CED Outreach Coordinator, at

For more information about kaolin and its many uses, check out these links:

Kaolin Capital of the World
City of Sandersville website

What is kaolin?
Description of kaolin and its many uses from the Industrial Minerals Association website.

New Georgia Encyclopedia article
More than 8 million metric tons of kaolin are mined from Georgia each year, with an estimated value of more than $1 billion. Georgia is by far the leading clay-producing state in America and is recognized as a world leader in the mining, production, processing, and application of kaolin products.

UGA Business Students Study Kaolin
News article on the potential kaolin museum, UGA Terry College of Business students and the Archway Partnership.

Photographs of Kaolin mines and fossils
Jo Lynn Still loves home as much as anyone you will meet. Born and raised in Washington County, Georgia, she lives in the same kaolin-mining community with her family.

Kaolin entry at
Kaolin's potential medicinal uses.

Vogue Skincare Alphabet: "K" is for "Kaolin"
The fashion magazine's breakdown of how kaolin is used in skincare products and specific brand-name examples.

Questions?  See our FAQs and contact Jennifer at or 706-542-6760

Can We Get a Charrette?

Interested in bringing a charrette to your community?
Contact Jennifer Lewis, Outreach Coordinator at or 706-369-5885

We asked our communities, “What has been done locally since your charrette?”
•     “The county has acquired a $100,000 land and water grant and they are working on implementing some of the trails on the plan…The team that worked with us was very professional and extremely energetic! They brought fresh ideas to the table, but, more importantly, they listened to the community.” — Carrollton, GA, charrette conducted 2003

•     “We passed a Green Building Resolution requiring all municipal buildings and renovations to strive for LEED Silver certification.  We’re working with the River Basin Center and DNR to develop a model buffer ordinance for the coast.  We’ve begun a rain barrel program.  The first condos with a green roof are under construction in the beach business district.  We received a $2,000,000 GEFA loan for water line replacement.” —City of Tybee Island, charrette conducted 2005

•     “[We created] a mixed-use development (called “Town Center”) on major corner in City and in the downtown district [which] compliments historic district; Increased civic space (in Town Center) – creation of a 10 acre urban style park …total cost of park = $5,000,000+.  Design guidelines created [3 sets: 1 for the downtown district, 1 for the historic district, and 1 for Town Center area] in line with the UGA recommendations. City continues to encourage development along Buford Hwy. as described in the Charrette document. Lots and lots of cool stuff happening in Suwanee – much of it was spurred by the ideas that came out of the charrette.“ —City of Suwanee, charrette completed 2000