Projects are the product of collaborative efforts of our diverse planning and design assistance teams, made possible due to hundreds of volunteer hours donated by faculty, students, and community participants. The format of each project is unique and is developed specifically for the respective context in which the project is rooted.

Projects are unified by the program's commitment to public participatory planning and design. All community based projects are solely initiated by community invitation. Each prospective community is analyzed before any assistance from Community-Based Projects is started to ensure that the community has all the necessary components for a successful project.

Virtually all projects undertaken by CBP follow one of three major formats: academic studio or class projects, charrette workshops, or grant-supported research, design, or planning studies. The format is determined through negotiation and discussion among the community representatives, the CBP coordinator, and participating faculty members. The criteria used in determining the optimum format include community and academic goals, community and academic time schedules, and available community resources.

Often a CBP project may involve using more than one format in a sequence that is deemed most advantageous to both the community and the R. Wayne Estopinal College of Architecture and Planning (CAP). In the past, academic studios have been held after a grant-supported study of a charrette workshop. The initial study will often pinpoint more project-specific opportunities that require additional studies.

The academic studio format normally involves an instructor and his or her studio class focusing on a project as part of their normal academic work. The duration, intensity, and result of this type of project is negotiated between the instructor and the local community organization and will depend on the educational objectives of the course. This format is typically used in places within a few hours drive of Ball State.