2016 Thesis Foreword

In the martial art of Karate, for instance, the symbol of pride for a black belt is to wear it long enough such that the dye fades to white as to symbolize returning to the beginner state.
John Maeda


The Thesis Project, as the last moment in the School of Architecture at which the production of architecture engenders and is engendered by a social, political, material, technological and cultural agenda, aspires to define our graduates as a creator working in between approximation and exactitude, converging creatively the sometimes foreign subject matter with the disciplinary literacy of architecture.  It is also an opportunity where one who can materialize the primary elements of what is at his or her disposal in order to establish criteria whose evaluation is both self-referential and open to debate for those outside of the process.  

The thesis which lends understanding to a thoughtful and reflective act straddled in-between the autonomous and the contingent object of architecture, where ideas and thoughts are expressed through architectural production, not only in abstraction but through spatial agency and ingenuity, which encourages students to critique and contemplate upon them, and is embedded in all decisions that go with producing the work.  

Fast forward eight months, at the conclusion of the thesis also marked the beginning of a new set of questions.  So what now?  Have they achieved what they’ve set out to do in September of last year?  If not, will they continue to find and defind of their search and research of the thesis?  What will they do? Where will they go?

Perhaps as suggested by Maeda in the Law of Simplicity, they could revisit their “thesis” not through the assuming attitude of a black belt, but instead with the beginner’s eyes of curiosity, questioning and fervor.  It is with that passion, that one’s architectural project may be continued to be learned and shaped.