2015 Thesis Foreword

Inflection is the genetic element of the variable curve or fold. Inflection is the authentic atom, the elastic point.  Inflection is the pure Event of the line or of the point.

Gilles Deleuze


57 Points of Inflection

The 19th Master of Architecture Graduation Exhibition titled 57 Points of Inflection is a thematic idea with much connotation and imagination.  Implicit to the idea of point of inflection is the notion of transitioning from one spatiality onto another, of repurposing its a priori, of moving towards a state of deterritorialization.  Within the context of architecture, deterritorialization is the norm to practice today; it is not an exception but an expectation. Students of architecture in droves will either work in an unfamiliar territory or on projects with which its disposition is foreign.  Under this assertion, what are the means and what is the end to the path of education in preparation for this evolving practice?  In other words, what and how should the form of knowledge in architecture be conveyed and learned?  More importantly, upon familiarizing with the knowledge, what should the students do with it?

What is the end?  Although we can hope and anticipate what the end may become but no one can guarantee for sure.  In the architecture of deterritorialized practice, the end is not about producing students with architectural knowledge catered to a particular industry or locality.  Instead, it is for them to develop architectural intelligence and skills that are mobile and fluid so they can contribute and maneuver reflectively according to the circumstance.

The process involved in the thesis project is one of the key attributes that enables this possibility: of defining a topic that is curious to the individual students but also relevant to the discipline of architecture; of deciphering through the overwhelming research to distill its core knowledge; of thinking independently without the safety net previously expected from the studio instructors; of choosing the tools and methods to develop the work; of developing the patience to sustain the thesis for two semesters; of staying the course during many temptations to deviate from the crux of their intent; or simply, to figure out which first steps to begin.

These are important struggles that require long consultations with their advisors and intense collaboration with colleagues, but much more often, it requires the student to think through reading, drawing and making in solitude.  I hope students feel rewarded with this experience, and more importantly, that this experience paves the way into the architecture of deterritorialized practice, so someday; 57 points of inflection will expand into 57 explorations of events, each one unique, fulfilling their individual inquiries and aspirations.