In the last year of the professional program, students explore an architectural problem of current relevance. They conceive a proposal for change through design that is put into test in the 2nd part of the academic year. Students’ involvement in the thesis studio advances their design knowledge and skills, and builds research skills through hands-on engagement. Students are also well prepared for post-graduate studies, if they choose to combine their professional education with another area of knowledge.
Students research an architectural problem of personal interest, that reflects a pressing issue of today, and that is of concern to the larger professional community. They construct an argument for change, for resolving the problem – a proposal for research through design. Research, as a logical and systematic investigation, requires creativity and imagination. Design research means thinking-in-action, making as research, and designing as making. It involves an iterative design process to “map” a field of possible solutions to the problem.
Theses have dealt with a wide range of issues and proposals: from temporary housing on icebergs, to housing for itinerant crab-picking workers, to edible gardens for flooding control, to new structures for Makoko, to storm sheltering towers, to personal earthquake proof pods for housing towers, to pop-ups as the new boutiques, to rooftop forests for urban schools, to big box retail deconstructed into farms.
Department of Architecture
714 Orchard Road
Hampton, VA 23668