Based in California, Crowdbrite is organized around the basic concept of the charrette – a participatory, design-oriented workshop in which community members play an active role in designing a project or plan. The Crowdbrite platform enables online users to participate in place-based charrettes by writing comments on virtual sticky notes and then placing them on a project’s canvas, which could be a map, a photograph or a design .
Submitted sticky notes appear in real time, and the Crowdbrite Mobile app allows for full functionality on mobile devices and tablets, which enables the platform to be used effectively in live meetings. Participants can use the sticky note function to upload written comments, photos or videos, and a voting function allows users to endorse ideas. All data submitted can be used to generate reports in real time.
Crowdbrite clients can use the platform in a variety of ways, from simply collecting ideas and recommendations to hosting online meetings and charrettes. While Crowdbrite can be used for policy-oriented, non-place-specific discussions, the design-influenced nature of the program makes it particularly well suited for design-oriented, place-specific projects. Many of Crowdbrite’s clients have been located in the Western United States, but the company has expanded its project list to include clients in both Montreal and Toronto.
Crowdbrite offers dozens of templates and toolkits to facilitate and enhance the charrette experience both digitally and in person. Pricing starts at $2,500 for their basic interactive canvasses, and $5,000 for self-led engagements. Crowdbrite also trains clients on how to set up a project and use it live in a meeting.