Design Process – Part 2

I have to hand it to Si Yee and some of her studio mates… what I had thought earlier about some of them has been proven. They are winners.

Many people thought that: There are no “stars” in this batch…

I did not really accept that. I knew of Si Yee’s ability when we did the seminar on affordable housing. Adelin did a great presentation as well. And I have no doubt of her ability. Adelin just lost confidence towards the end of the housing project and later in the 1st semester of 5th year. Si Yee had her doubts in the 1ts semester as well. They fought hard to find themselves. They made the “thesis journey” as their personal growth.
But honestly, in this batch…I feel that the best student was Si Yee (although she did not show many huge perspective drawings), not by a mile though as they both were close, but I just prefer Si Yee’s Design Process to that of Adelin. And the amount of work that Si Yee did after first semester was phenomenal.

Update: Adelin’s work was judged by the External Examiner to be the best among the lot.

I do not really comment a lot in a 5th Year Design Thesis Crit because there is a lot to take in one sitting and the half and hour does no justice. (And in this case I was not one of the studio masters.) I just like to dissect based on what I said before to some students where there are three things to look for:




Please note that it may be easier for me to analyse than for a student to analyse themselves. I did put that notion to the 3rd year students the other day. Hopefully they would start to be critical of themselves.

But against those three components, you review the work against:





When I sat at the 3rd year crit, I reviewed the students in that way, but for the 4th year crit, I reviewed only based on the three components. This is an experiment on evaluating students. I wanted to be more analytical, tactical and strategic…

For both 3rd and 5th year, its the testimonial year. In a broad view, I would pass a 3rd year student who’s got the technical right, but may lack in concept and detail design. But for a 5th year student, all components must be there. There must be a concept, as that is the basis for the THESIS. No concept means no thesis.

Helena asked Kevin to explained “What is a Thesis” first and that was very important. It’s all about the thesis, that’s why its called Design Thesis not a Final Project. And why do we have to make the architecture students go through all that?

It’s to bend and shape them into “character”…

At the end of the day its a training course…shaping and forming minds…the architect’s mind…preparing the students to be able to cope with their minds…toughen them up…sharpen them up…

If all students do is memorizing technical stuff and using templates of design without thinking, they won’t last the mile… maybe the short distance…but we are not training business students…we are training architects…hence the importance of the Design Thesis…as you cannot bluff through a thesis….

Si Yee\'s School

Si Yee’s Drawing Pictured Above


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