Is there a winning formula for a Good Thesis?

What makes a good thesis? There’s three parts of the formula and a special ingredient. The spice is at the very end to make it more interesting.

A grounded problem
For those of you taking up your RMA this semester or still deciding if the topic is really something you can handle, make sure you have a relevant problem to solve. Why do we need your thesis? What contribution will it bring? Is it worth solving for an entire year?

“If you think you can’t make the world a better place with your work, at least make sure you don’t make it worse.” – Herman Hertzberger

See even if you have the most awesome drawings, design focus and even the latest technology applied to your solution, if your problem isn’t as relevant/ complex enough for a fifth year thesis, then don’t expect an automatic 1.0.

Research to back up the solution
Your drawings have to come from somewhere right? It can’t just be from the magnificence of your brain. We work with context. We have site constraints, codes, local laws, CLUPs, height limits, ordinances to think about. This would bring your work closer to reality because this culminating project you’re having is basically the summation of everything you’ve learned in and out of school. Use your research methods to your advantage. There’s an entire collection in the UST library about Architectural Research. Use it! BTW, be careful with your Scope and Limitation. Make sure you’re doing sufficient development of your site to solve this problem architecturally. You can’t say that utilities aren’t part of your scope just because you delineated it. It should be part of your work!

“I think constraints are very important. They’re positive, because they allow you to work off something.” -Charles Gwathmey

Even if you have the most elaborate research methodology but is not evident or reflected on to your proposal, then your first semester would have been useless. Your drawings should be the result of all the studies you’ve made.

An intelligent solution based on said research
There is no wrong solution. There is just a mediocre one or an intelligent one. Connect your concept and philosophy to your objectives, strategies, design focus and everything else even to the littlest bit of your scope. From the introduction of every Thesis Presentation I’ve sat through, if the concept isn’t evident off the bat, the entire proposal seems out of sync. True enough the projects that have weak concepts tend to have weak solutions.

Remember: everything you’ve learned in Graphics, VT, Building Tech, should be on display here. Use the right graphical representations, adherence to scale and proportion and the correct use of callouts. You can’t just say that something is off because the renderer/ printing was wrong. This is your work. If you specified materials that are crucial to the fulfillment of your objectives, then it should be shown accurately on to your perspectives.

Special ingredient: A good presentation
Your thesis should be believable through your entire being. You have to believe in your own work. It should be evident in the way you speak, the way you carry yourself and the way you arrange your presentation. Graphics, layout and even the way you flip through your boards show if you’re prepared for this. More of this here.

The spice: So what makes a Good Thesis the BEST THESIS?
If you’ve gotten all four of these down to a tee, then all you have to have is LUCK. All your stars need to align that day. Be there on time, travel super early to avoid traffic AND THAT YOU HAVE an awesome panel randomized to your advantage. This last one is quite out of your control but when you’ve already prepared hard for it, why be afraid of your panel — right?


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