Recalling past design thesis topics, I came across this link in the facebook. This would be a brilliant design thesis topic: Universal House of Worship, combining a synagogue, church and mosque. It is similar to what Gan Kok Yong was doing for the Universal Cemetery, but even better. If someone wants to do it, he or she will need to find the issues and make a compelling conceptual framework, which in my opinion in these times of religious tension, could be very possible.
Another good research topic is when you have a possible client, as I met one academic in the workshop this morning, who is from the
Institute of Ocean and Earth Sciences. This alone is no big deal but what Dr Rizman said was very interesting. They are doing a program to engage the community – i.e. the villagers along the coastal communities. They wish to expand and create an inspirational research centre but to be the core of the community. It is along the beach. A study of the beach front and how the villagers uses the beach would give ideas for events / programs, translated architecturally. Big questions must be asked, about awareness, education and training. Such research centres should not just be a white elephant or an island surrounded by others but integral to breathe life into the community. Breaking down the preconceive perceptions of academia is a must.
While we are at it, I have something to say. Perhaps it is worth sharing. You know the Kampong Community Library at Kg Dago Pojok in Bandung. That is a superb design thesis topic with a wonderful site.
With the 2nd years they had to deal with the context, slope and an institutional building / building type. A few managed to even achieved critical architecture, but I expect if you do this topic you need to go deeper. I found out about one aspect where the Bandung folk and Indonesians in general love to go out with their families, hence the conceptual framework could include “inter-generational environment” or spaces. That study comes from deep observation and asking a lot about the people as well.
Don’t skimp on observations. It is your bread and butter, not just options. Case studies if done with deep observations would be great. Case studies may also be about the people and community, not just building.