Design Thesis Manual – Quotes from others

I am doing research and compiling data (quotes) from participants interviewed (students, studio masters, guest critics) for a Design Thesis Manual project.

It’s still early days, but here are some quotes that my collaborator, Kong Seng Yeap dug out from the internet:

Design Thesis: Students’ and Lecturers’ Point of View (Internet Discussion Forum)

“Your thesis should be thought about as an exploration of all of the ideas you have formulated about architecture in the last four years. It is about doing something that is of supreme interest and importance to you. If you look upon the thesis as something you have to finish to graduate, you are missing a wonderful opportunity to fully understand why you chose to become an architect in the first place. Pick a topic that hopefully is the beginning of search that will last your entire career. Remember, a thesis can be about raising difficult questions as well as providing solutions. Challenge yourself with this exercise. It will be well worth it. It is important to make this project uniquely yours and not let the agenda of your thesis advisor take over. Most of all enjoy it.”

(Shiraz Allibhai, April 27, 2001)

“A thesis is an opportunity for you to look more carefully at issues and concerns that interest you and address them through design. It isn’t the beginning or the end of your search but an opportunity in your career to pause and address what is important to you.”

(Tanzeel Merchant, April 29, 2001)

“…The issue often gets coloured by what is ‘in’ or fashionable, don’t let that influence your choice…”

(Tanzeel Merchant, April 29, 2001)

“…A good supervisor who is capable to answer you even in the midnight…”

(Ashik Ikbal, November 10, 2001)

“…try to find a problem that you may interested or may be something ‘breakthrough’ in your field of study…”

(Ruly Darmawan, November 19, 2001)

“…right now I am in the same situation as u were or u are (in case u r still looking for a thesis topic……) the problem is that I am not able to decide what should I look for…
I mean as such I don’t have any particular interest in a field but I want do a very good project, not for marks but for my self satisfaction…”

(Haneet Khanna, December 20, 2003)

“…at my college and some of the neighboring colleges, a normal trend is to go and see the projects undertaken in various colleges…it really helps and broadens our horizons…the search engine on net is also a very helpful tool to get to know about various projects…”

(Prashant Das, December 21, 2003)

“…the idea of thesis is very important and helpful. The choice of a topic for design thesis should be made to steer oneself towards the goals one has set for the future development. Thesis should address the issues in a given context.”

(Akhtar Chauhan, December 25, 2003)

“Just pick a subject that you will enjoy doing. If you enjoy it. the research, and the final presentation will come easy. You will be willing to spend long hours to solve issues. Most of all HAVE FUN. This may be your real last chance to enjoy it. Go for it.”

(Ashley de Vos 25th November 2001)

“…Why should one ever forget the idea of “thesis”. I am of the opinion that all the great architects of all times achieved their greatness because they pursued their “theses” in architecture. This means that it is important to evolve a philosophy of architecture as a general direction which may contain several theses. Such an approach enables one to develop an architecture of a higher kind, which is recognized by the clients, society and fellow professionals. That is what separates excellence from mediocrity in architecture…”

(Akhtar Chauhan, December 25, 2003)

“I would urge that no architect should ever give up the idea of thesis! One should explore the unlimited space of creativity through thesis! The design thesis of the final year in architecture is just the begining of the quest for excellence in architecture.”

(Akhtar Chauhan, December 25, 2003)

“I would recommend going for the topic which you as a human being – not as an architect – feel like doing: for the ‘have-nots’! I say this because later in life, there may not be too many opportunities to do a project for the ‘have-nots’ as architecture, in most cases, is sponsored by the rich and the ‘haves’ and whether we like it or not, we all end up working for them. So you will have lots of opportunities to work on gleaming steel and glass structures and sprawling housing estates.”

(Hammad Husain, December 23, 2003)

“I wanted to tell you something that the teacher told me when I took the course before my masters thesis. He said that if you are faced with a question to which you do not know the answer, you have two choices. The difficult choice is to admit what you do not know and act accordingly; the easy choice which most students opt for is to expand the question. So my suggestion is not to feel that one faces a challenge only with a project that is of a sufficient size or complexity. If you wish to explore the principles of architecture you have learnt, then it is possible to do it within a small project. So before trying to zero in on the project title and description just give some thought to the principles of architecture you wish to explore in your thesis. And then take on a project that will give you an opportunity to go into depth rather than width of issues, given the time constraints of a final year thesis.”

(Prem Chandavarkar, December 26, 2003)

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