Students produce their individual Design & Make Thesis during Phase 2. It forms an analysis and critique of the processes and outcome of the design and production of the Hooke Park build project, and develops a research-based argument on the theory or practice of architectural design within a design-build context. The Thesis is intended to be propositional, in the sense of proposing and testing alternatives to conventional design practice. The thesis argument may concern design methodology itself, or the ecological, societal, material or other aspects of architecture; specifically, however, it must be an argument that is developed and tested through the design-make process.
As the theses are individually produced, and should differ in topic across the group, each student is required to identify an individual field of research by the end of Term 1. This is then used to help inform and frame the choice of design and hands-on activities in the subsequent terms within the team-based work. Further thesis tutorials are held in third term, to guide the student in identifying their specific thesis question, argument and reference materials. Thesis Presentations are held in the fourth term, following completion of the built project. At this event, each student presents their thesis argument to an invited jury who advise on its subsequent completion for hand-in in late January.
The D&M Thesis is submitted as an illustrated bound dossier incorporating both the thesis text (7000-9000 words) and illustrative material.
Image: Nozomi Nakabayashi, from her D&M thesis Drawing with Tolerance for Contingency – Mediating the Distance between the Representational and Physical Worlds