Everyone starts with an A grade
Why am I saying this?
For each student, the design thesis really began when we finalised the thesis topic.(The slower you finalised, the more time you lose to work on getting the A grade.)
Why was it so important that the studio masters were involved in this finalisation of the topic?
Because when a student propose a topic and explain to us along with the site studies and research done, we’d soon begin to see a picture or vision of an A project. Yup, its in our heads. My vision may be different from Kevin, Helena or Anthony’s, but it’s my A vision. For a winning studio masters team to happen, the visions must be “A” visions. (Hence the people we invited for the interims…the quality of the guest critics…)
If we cannot see an “A” vision, we cannot and should not approve the topic.
So in a way, everyone started with an A vision formed in the studio masters head.
The challenge was for the student to realise that “A” vision.
At the end of the 1st semester, it is “half-time” or 45 minutes in a football match. Its a half-way point between getting that A.
So in theory its possible for everyone to get that A grade at the end of the 2nd semester.
How long and how much work to get there is another story. Obviously it depends on how intense, how often (frequency) the students want to sharpen the design into and how much (magnitude / depth) the student will be getting into the thesis.
By right everyone who got into the B Arch course could get an A for the design thesis. Minimum requirement B for Design in 3rd year for entry into the B Arch course, says it all, because the student have a year after entering B Arch to get up to scratch and ready for the design thesis.
This is my theory. You may not agree with it, but after my first semester’s experience being a studio master and many other times reviewing the 5th year design thesis, I come to this hypothesis.