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M.Arch in a strange land

Musings on the successes and failures of a graduate architecture student.

 

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Jun '12 - Sep '12

 
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    Week 63

    Ryan Panos Jun 27 '12 1

    My architecture education will conclude next year with the completion of my master’s thesis. I have mentioned it once or twice before how things are organized compared to my previous undergrad thesis, and another aspect which sets it apart is the submission of something akin to an abstract submitted close to the end of the summer. From my point of view this submission has two functions, the first being administrative, so every student entering GP 1 is accounted for with an appropriate mentor, and the second being that when the semester officially starts, it is possible to hit the ground running rather than squander the first few weeks humming and hawing, although this tends to happen anyway with topic research and knowledge expansion.


    This leaves work to be done over the summer on the developing the germ of an idea that is to blossom into a thesis. Even now in late June with lots of time to actually do this work, am I feeling the weight and pressure of developing a thesis.


    How does one even decide on a thesis? With the centuries of architectural history, innumerable theories and concepts, literally an entire world of built work to draw on, how can a thesis be developed to break new ground? I do understand that a thesis does not have to be something new, such as simply smashing two or three programs together, that is hardly a thesis or new, or attempting to create new ways of developing or visualizing  form. However some aspect of the research must strive to attain some kind importance in a architectural world, otherwise what is the point of the whole thing?


    Perhaps it is not a question of what it is about, but what I want to get out of it. Which is scarier. I have to forgo the thesis and imagine the kind of architect I want to be... There is something to be said that a thesis, a school project is not going to determine your career and life ambition, but right now I have this as a gift to make it anything I choose. A wonderful horrible gift.

     

     
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A week by week journal of the ups and downs of getting through a master of architecture program in Vancouver Canada.

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