Ball State University (Gregory)

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    Thesis Review

    Gregory Dowell
    Apr 2, '09 5:30 PM EST

    It's done. On Monday, six years of architectural education culminated in my final thesis presentation. I didn't know what to expect, but I certainly though it'd be more than a desk crit or mid-review. I was mistaken. I presented nearly two semesters worth of research, along with 10 weeks of design work in front of one studio professor, my advisor, a former student and a gentleman I invited from Richmond. There were also a few colleagues who had presented early in the day who hung around.

    I figured the College of Architecture and Planning, and at the least, the studio professor would invite professionals from around the region. Maybe they did, and everybody said no, but that seems highly unlikely. So there I was at what I consider the pinnacle of my educational career presenting a significant research and design project to people who had seen my project all semester.

    As I presented and then received questions and feedback the sparse crowd really didn't gross my mind. But after everything wrapped up and I was collecting my stuff I realized I had better juries during undergrad for measly 4 week projects. And quite frankly it pisses me off. The architecture graduate program is consistently ranked highly by various publications and with the turnout for juries one would think Ball State was trying to keep everything a secret.

    But I guess it doesn't matter. I'm more than pleased with my work. The feedback I received from the sparse crowd was positive and the critiques were valid. The biggest critique was the manner in which I chose to present some of my information. And honestly that was a constraint of time and I will change a few things for the concluding narrative and graphics due before graduation.

    My presentation boards are below. Click for a larger PDF version that you can actually read. The boards are easy to follow and my thesis statement is on the boards. Essentially my intervention with the existing building came down to my value and attitude of the existing materials. I loved the juxtaposition of the heavy masonry walls to the light wrought iron trusses. My response was a ramp and mezzanine constructed mainly glass and concrete. I wanted people to experience the building.

    So check out my boards. Leave some feedback. Ask some questions. I want to hear from you.


    Larger PDF of Presentation Boards

    On a related note, because I was so pissed off about the turnout for presentations I made sure to attend my colleagues presentations all day yesterday and provide all the feedback I could. And despite spending all semester with these guys, not only was I impressed in the work that was presented, but I learned a lot. And for as immature, stupid, angry, silly, worried, whatever we can be at any time during studio, we're a smart bunch of people with great futures ahead of us. Hey, its okay to pat yourself on the back every once in a while.


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