Fifteen years ago, the National Charrette Institute (NCI), a nonprofit educational institution dedicated to transforming the way people work together by building capacity for collaboration, launched what has become the leading professional training in collaborative design and charrettes. Since then, NCI has trained thousands of public and private planners, and designers and community activists in our accredited certificate program. We have worked directly with communities on projects across the country, helping them change the way they work together.

On January 1, 2017, NCI entered a new partnership with the MSU School of Planning, Design and Construction and MSU Extension. The NCI’s new home is here at MSU, and will grow through this partnership, reaching more people, and more markets.

The NCI program will evolve into a universal system for Collaboration by Design, bringing the power of charrettes and other tools to non-traditional audiences, such as agriculture, business and engineering. Importantly, this partnership will allow us to begin conducting research in the efficacy of Collaboration by Design in community planning, long an NCI goal.

Training Opportunities

NCI Charrette SystemTM and Certificate Program

The NCI Charrette SystemTM transforms collaboration by embedding key participants in the design process, bring them together in a radically creative event to build a supported action plan. This flexible yet prescriptive system cuts project timelines in half, saving money and accelerating implementation. The certificate-based training program is available for individuals and organizations.

NCI Charrette SystemTM Online Certificate Course

In Spring 2017, NCI at MSU will launch the first online NCI certificate training opportunity, based on the NCI Charrette SystemTM. This online course will be available for credit and non-credit. It provides access to the NCI program to people worldwide, in their own place on their own time.

NCI Consultants

Coaching and Assistance

The NCI at MSU is available to train, coach and offer support throughout a project. With a tailored support approach to address each project’s specific needs, below are some of the services that are commonly offered.

  • Project Start-Up Intensive,
  • Pre-Charrette Oversight and Assistance, and
  • Charrette Coaching.

RFP Writing Workshop

The NCI at MSU can facilitate an RFP Co-writing Intensive Workshop with your project team. It includes a series of assessment and organization exercises to establish high-level guiding principles and ends with a detailed project process roadmap. The result is a draft plan for the project, which is used as the basis for writing the request for proposal.

Strategic Planning

The NCI Charrette SystemTM brings its collaboration-by-design model to the development of strategic plans that are innovative, measurable, and result in action.

Educational Resources

The NCI at MSU has a resource library that offers an introduction to the NCI Charrette SystemTM and expands upon the knowledge gained through the training program. The companion book for the training program is “The Charrette Handbook,” which is available for purchase. There are several other tools and resources that are available for free, including the “Request for Proposal Template,” videos, and more.

Contact Us


Michigan State University
Human Ecology Building
552 W. Circle Drive, Room 203E
East Lansing, MI 48824
Phone: (517) 884-0795
Fax: (517) 432-8108
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