The Student should register for Thesis Prep in the spring semester of 4th year. During
the Thesis Prep Course the Student is advised by the faculty member assigned to the
course. It is their role to help the student understand the nature of the Thesis and
to assist in identifying a Thesis topic and develop the Thesis Proposal.
The Thesis Prep component is a process of discovery whose intention is to guide the
student to learn to think independently, to learn how to see, how to analyze, and
to express the social condition. The goal is to develop an understanding within the
student that research is a mode of inquiry that implies not only the gathering of
factual information, but also the implicit and explicit values, conventions and assumptions
that make up the built environment.
Thesis Prep is also a moment where much of the student's latent qualities- as a person,
a designer and citizen- reveal themselves. The pedagogy aims to uncover such potentials.
In Thesis Prep, the student explores a range of research methodologies:
- Processes of seeing, documentation and mapping including existing conditions, memories
- Ways of visualizing a problem.
- Processes of researching and identifying contemporary issues in architecture, technology,
society and culture.
- Developing processes of constructing an argument using writing rigorously and poetically.
Research is a creative activity driven by a question and/or hypothesis that explores
precedent, site, critical readings, and technique with the goal of formulating positions
regarding architectural thinking and production.
This process may start with self-reflection as a means to enter into investigation
and discovery or more universal issues. By beginning with introspection students learn
to think both analytically and emotionally. Besides personally engaging each student
in his/her project, the aim of this introspective process is for the student to problematize
values and from that to consciously develop his/her own position on socio-cultural
and architectural issues.