A Goofy Word: Charrette

One of the things I love to do is introduce people to new ideas. So when I visit the Disney Parks I have a Disney word that I teach my group each day. It is a word they can use throughout their visit and is a great way to get to know the parks better. They realize that what they see was carefully thought out, and yes, given a name.

Today’s Goofy Word is: Charrette

A charrette?

According to The Imagineering Field Guide series Charrette is: Another term for a brainstorming session. From the French word for “cart.” It refers to the cart sent through the Latin Quarter in Paris to collect the art and design projects of students at the legendary Ecole des Beaux-Arts who were unable to deliver them to the school themselves after the mad rush to complete their work at the end of the term.

Charrette is pronounced (shuhret). When I looked up how to pronounce this word I learned a different meaning for the word. Dictionary.com says that charrette is: a final, intensive effort to finish a project, especially an architectural design project, before a deadline. This definition may be correct, but I like the Imagineers definition better.

The charrette is the cart that collected the art work. I like to think of it as a meeting that collects ideas, thus a brainstorming session. The best part about a charrette is it does not discriminate. Any idea can be added to the collection. There will be time later on to filter out the best ideas. If the ideas are not collected in the beginning then the best ideas will never be found.

As you walk around the Disney parks remember that everything you see, smell, hear, touch, and taste started out as an idea that could have appeared in a charrette. Perhaps you could have a charrette at your business and see what sort of ideas get tossed in when all ideas are excepted.

Goofy Trivia: Tom Hanks was born today, July 9, 1956. Disney fans everywhere love Woody, Tom Hank’s character in the Toy Story movies. He also starred in the 1984 Disney movie, Splash! (When was the last time you saw that movie?) Happy birthday, Tom Hanks!