CAA Charrette

Date: March 2014
Category: Special project
Form: Charrette

CAA Charrette


In March 2014, the IwB was approached by the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) to help improve the awareness, use, and accessibility of the Ontario Road Safety Resource, a provincial educational tool for teachers, public health, and community leaders dedicated to supporting the health and well being of Ontario’s children and youth.

Towards this challenge, the IwB and CAA worked together on a one-day intensive charrette with professionals from the Ministry of Transportation, Ontario Physical Health and Education Association, Ministry of Education, George Brown College design faculty and students as well as other public health organizations.

The CAA charrette proposed practical ideas for improving the existing Ontario Road Safety Resource and integrating road safety into educational curriculum across Ontario.

Project Goals:

To increase children’s education and awareness about road safety through the re-launch and promotion of an updated Ontario Road Safety Resource.


The challenge is how to make the Ontario Road Safety Resource more exciting and engaging for users and educators.

Charrette discussion
Brainstorming session during the charrette
A charrette team working

CAA Charrette:

Increased injuries and fatalities on our roads and highways in recent years have prompted both government and non-government organizations to acknowledge the need to educate school age children about road safety issues. CAA has been identified as a key partner in the implementation of such an educational resource.

In 2009, the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) and the Ontario Physical Health and Education Association (OPHEA) put together the Ontario Road Safety Resource. It is available online and includes detailed curriculum planning for children from kindergarten through grade 12. The Ontario Road Safety Resource includes cross-curricular lesson plans and a community engagement toolkit, providing educators with materials, activities and suggestions to integrate road safety into their curriculum planning.

This resource was distributed to schools and teachers across Ontario, but thus far it has received minimal feedback and limited success. While the lack of engagement cannot be traced to any particular aspect of the project, the current format of the content is not intuitive and enticing for users. It features a text-based website and detailed curriculum plans that lack visuals.

The CAA charrette focused on developing ideas for improving the engagement features of the existing Ontario Road Safety Resource and increasing awareness and uptake to integrate road safety into educational curriculum across Ontario.

Project Outcome:

Five charrette teams analyzed the existing resource and proposed design solutions. On the whole, the charrette teams recommended developing a brand campaign and direction as well as creating a new responsive web interface. The teams strongly suggested that the CAA develops new partnerships towards these goals, for instance, with a local media company that can help develop branding and do promotions of the resource and an entertainment organization that can help develop an in class experience for young children.

The results of the charrette teams concepts are summarized below.

To see the full team proposals download the CAA Charrette Report.

Charrette Result Summarized:

Team 1 – Mindcraft

Team 1 focused on a video game that would educate children through a reward system. The game would be a mod from the online minecraft game and would immerse children in an interactive environment where they would ‘mine’ for educational content. The goal of the game would be to successfully find all required content and answer the questions correctly through a series of ‘missions’ and first-person tests.

Team 2 – Customized Toolkit

Team 2 proposed a full redevelopment of the information architecture of the existing website that would make possible customized toolkits for users. The idea was to create a series of questions and categories that would organize the existing content into the most relevant information that could then be downloaded.


Team 3 – Safety Licensing Platform

Team 3 developed a proposal for a licensing game and point system that rewards users for gaining knowledge and completing tasks associated with content that is derived from the existing resource. The plan included a multifaceted web and mobile platform and a video that explains the benefits and showcases the licensing and point system in less than one minute.

Team 4 – Risk Taking Campaign

Team 4 suggested rebranding the current website with a series of fun and playful icons that would promote the idea of play and “healthy risk-taking,” promoting an understanding of how to keep yourself safe while participating in fun and adventurous activities. This campaign would include the slogan “Do it Right! Be a Road Hero” and would use a series of interactive marketing techniques.

Project Credits:
IwB staff and faculty
School of Design students
Ontario Physical Health and Education Association (OPHEA)
Canadian Automobile Association
Ministry of Transportation
Ministry of Education

Web & Game Design Faculty, GBC
Active Health Kids Canada
Various Municipal & County Health Organizations
Halton Multicultural Council
College & Grade School Students

Photo credits:
Robert Giusti

Project Tags:
Canadian Automobile Association, CAA, Ontario Road Safety Resource, Ministry of Transportation, OPHEA, students, children

“I enjoyed the creative energy demonstrated by charrette participants. They came up with online solutions for the the Ontario Road Safety Resource to better engage its stakeholders and audiences.”

– Xavier Massé, IwB faculty & Senior Creative and Strategy Director, Relay