There are similarities between the design thesis’s design process and the design and build process, namely the schematic and design development aspects. Where design thesis deals with a final year student’s project, the design and build (in the case of the figure below that was taken from an owner builder website), suggested that the schematic and the design development stages are important and is at the start of the process of building. Even if the owner is not an architect or designer, one cannot escape from the fact that a scheme needs to be derived and developed further.
Therefore the process before the schematic stage is a crucial part of the process in order to get right at the beginning.
The Beginning Stage of the Design Thesis
The process of building starts from having a site to be studied. The context and area was studied in order to find what is needed for the people in the area. Several sites provided the opportunity for exploration in what we should do to fulfill the need/s of the people. Programs were derived from the study made and developed into architecture programs to be proposed as part of the design brief. The client is basically the people you design for but justified to thinking about the real world and the owner/s of the sites that are possible to be explored.
The architecture programs will be used to draw up a scheme. Some ideas and constraints would give rise to a scheme which then developed through a process of verification and validation. The scheme is felt through a set of drawings, including site plans, floor plans, site sections, building sections, three-dimensional models and drawings, images, sketches, diagrams and even calculations.
The design thesis provide a flow from the studies done at the site to finding out the problems at the site and suggesting what is needed such as activity programs, which then leads to architectural programs, calculated by the site’s area with a schedule of accommodation [in the special semester] to drawing up a scheme and developing the scheme further with a comprehensive set of drawings to illustrate the ideas and concept at a very early stage [in the first semester].
It is important to note that a collective and collaborative process that involves the students, studio masters and visiting critics contribute to the student developing that process in a cyclical and iterative manner, which is also suggested to be experiential.
The agenda for the program is however described as a linear process, where the studies done are then analysed, synthesised or conceptualized to come to a summary and conclusion from the studies in the beginning stage to enable the student to start designing and producing the scheme.
Towards the end
The semester two is a further exploration in a more detailed manner on many aspects of the scheme culminating with a set of comprehensive set of drawings that will convey the final concept which includes 1:50 cross sections and longitudinal sections, big sections or part sections in 1:20 or 1:25. If the project is small in size, the expectations is to even create a more detailed sections in 1:10 or even 1:5.
Compared to the figure shown above, the conclusion of a real life project is to build it but for a student’s project, the drawings and models will represent the building as if you can feel the concept through the drawings.