Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Fifth annual charrette celebrates Canada’s diversity in architectural design

Learning opportunity puts students in a professional setting

On February 1, 2018, students from the Architectural Technologies program headed to Robinson Residential Design Inc. in Regina to put their skills to the test. Divided into teams of four, students were assigned a province or territory and given the day to come up with a home design inspired by the region’s geography, history and culture – a design idea influenced by John Robinson’s Canada 150 Small Homes exhibit at the Saskatchewan Science Centre.

“We’re all very proud of ourselves,” says first-year student Rachel McKen, whose group was assigned to British Columbia for the charrette. “Working in the professional setting and getting to ask to Robinson Residential Design questions directly was really helpful and really cool.”  

For first-year student Aden Hawreluik, the charrette was a way to reaffirm that he is pursuing a career he will enjoy.

“It was a good experience to work collaboratively with my classmates, which reflects the workforce,” says Hawreluik, whose team was assigned to Prince Edward Island. “All the insight and interaction with the professionals from Robinson Residential Design in their element was great…It was one of those things that reinforces that I made the right choice.”  

Program head Angela Deans says that a significant part of the day’s success comes from positive partnerships with local business and organizations such as the Regina & Region Homebuilders Association.

“Students get industry expert feedback right in the moment,” says Deans. “Our faculty are experts in design, but getting exposure in a professional setting like this provides a real-world experience we can’t recreate in the classroom.”

For John Robinson, owner of Robinson Residential Design, the charrette is an opportunity to influence the industry’s future.

“This is an opportunity for us to share some of what we have learned over the years with students and help them decide whether a career in residential construction and design is what they want,” says Robinson. “It is also an opportunity for us to showcase our office and find students with an interest in the size and scope of residential projects we work on.”

Once the day was done, the class was treated to a meal from the Regina & Region Home Builders Association and were invited to attend the Canada 150 Small Homes exhibit opening at the Saskatchewan Science Centre. Deans says the entire day created a balance between the technical and the artistic side of architectural technologies.

“Having these strong industry connections are second-to-none and are a valuable part of the learning experience for students,” says Deans.

Learn more about our Architectural Technologies program.

Published February 2018.