Design Thesis Interlude

An interlude means (amongst others) “an intervening period or episode”. So I’d reckon to intervene during this period where my students are busy with their final design. The following piece was written on 8 Dec 2009, but I feel that now is the appropriate time for me post it in my blog.

After chatting with Kok Yong and Kar Wai, I realised more about the design thesis. One is a ‘thesis’ and the other is the ‘concept’. No matter what the thesis is, the more detailed and studied the thesis is, the better it will be. It shows. But the “start” is important. However there are exceptions. But we have to seek this case by case. Somehow key drawings are important. It is all about the drawings. Large site plans + 2Ds are the bread and butter but the key drawings are the sections.

IDEA  >>> Key Ideas  <=> Key Drawings >>> Concept

Concept are shown in the drawings. Like ‘products’ that we use, drawings are the next best thing for us to imagine the product.

Architectural Process >>> Product

Process is the testing of ideas > making scheme / idea better. Concept is different. Concept is the conceiving of ideas. Everything integrated.

Thesis is the question set in the beginning and tested again. Thesis is question rather than ideas.

THESIS is the Process

CONCEPT is the Product

So when I ask a student about ‘what is your thesis?’ and ‘why you are doing this thesis’, it is to help with the process of describing and narrating your concept. Because the product is the result of the process. The Concept is the result of the Thesis.

This is one simplified way of describing.

Process precede Product.

Process happens first before the realization of the Product.

It is important to reflect on the process to explain how you got the product.

There are difficult thesis but it is because of the time taken to test it and not because it is being too ambitious. Nothing wrong about being too ambitious.

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