Fall 2018 Architecture Thesis Class: Thesis Talks

upper case and lower case white t's surrounded by a red circle

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"What keeps you up at night?"

~ Diana Agrest, February 18, 2015, lecture at Cornell University

Cornell's Department of Architecture curriculum defines a thesis as "an independent design project on a topic selected and developed by the student and researched in ARCH 8911. Marking the transition between academic and professional practices, the thesis project is an opportunity for each student to define an individual position with regard to the discipline of architecture."

While thesis is widely understood as an independent exercise, there yet exists a broader set of collective questions that concurrently inform thesis research. To this end, "Thesis Talks" poses the following questions:

  • What issues keep you up at night in architecture, enough so that you will spend a year – or longer – working on them?
  • What are today's critically relevant architectural themes and how might your research engage these themes and foster a rethinking of architectural practice?
  • What is your collective bias?
  • What is urgent?
  • What is underrepresented, unexplored, critical – and how does "it" consequently inform a thesis project?
  • What is a thesis in architecture?
  • What is the big picture?
  • What is the small picture?
  • How do you reflect on thesis and on what does it reflect back?

In a series of polemical PechaKucha talks, the fall 2018 thesis class will collectively frame the following relevant themes and issues relating to their theses:

  1. Climate, Nature, and Geology: Stephen Clond (M.Arch. '18), Scarcity Coalcity; Eliana Drier (M.Arch. '18), Fluid Domesticity: Infrastructure of Disaster; Mark Lien (M.Arch. '18), Cyborg Infrastructure; Jamie Mitchell (M.Arch. '18), The Biocentric Manifesto
  2. Identity and Culture: Mwanzaa Brown (M.Arch. '18), Ebonic Tectonic; Osehikhueme Etomi (M.Arch '18), AfroRevivalism; Thanh Thi Nguyen (B.Arch. '18), Arcade x Brothel; Hanxi Wang (B.Arch. '18), Breaking into Silence; Yuejia Yang (B.Arch. '18), Evaporated People
  3. Immigration and Conflict: Diego Garcia Blanco (M.Arch. '18), Reassembled Bodies; Alireza Shojakhani (M.Arch. '18), Embassy as Enclave; Ellen Jung Park (M.Arch. '18), Wallflower; Alexandre Mecattaf (M.Arch. '18), Healing Wounds
  4. Perception and Representation: Kun Bi (M.Arch. '18), Stepping into Drawings; Lingling Liu (M.Arch. '18), Storyboard; Melanie Monastirsky (M.Arch. '18), Dollhouse
  5. Civic Discourse: Samuel Capps (M.Arch. '18), Defining a Hub for Civic Engagement; Tess Clancy (M.Arch. '18), Eroding the Confederacy; Yue Ma (M.Arch. '18), 3 Hour Life; Jisoo Sim (B.Arch. '18), Architecture of Protest
  6. Technology: Kun Chen (M.Arch. '18), Active-Bending Structure; Cheryl Xu (M.Arch. '18), Re-power; Derek Yi (M.Arch. '18), Comprehensive Motility; Aquinnah Wong (B.Arch. '18), New Office
  7. Urbanity and Infrastructure: Lingzhe Lu (M.Arch. '18), Folding City; Gary Esposito (M.Arch. '18), Selling Heaven; Linjun Yu (M.Arch. '18), Revival of the Freeway; Yilin Zhang (M.Arch. '18), Memento – Rethinking of Conventional Cemeteries

The upcoming B.Arch. and M.Arch. thesis classes are energetically invited to participate as respondents to ask questions, discuss, debate, and dwell on their future thesis topics! Refreshments will be provided.

Organized by Sasa Zivkovic (fall 2018 thesis coordinator ) and Leslie Lok (spring 2019 thesis coordinator).