Thesis: How to select the Thesis Topic
Thesis and training are a very important part of architectural education. Thesis is that part of our curriculum where we are supposed to do a real-life project academically and have to apply every knowledge that we have gained in our previous years. It isn’t just important academically; it is also important professionally. You may have seen a thesis that is accepted by the real client of that proposed project and becomes a real-life project of that student. Moreover, you get to learn a lot of things in such topics that are practical in an architectural world like constructions details, costs, implementation of bylaws which are not been taken in consideration in every institute for academic design projects.
But when it comes to choosing the topic, students are generally confused which topic should they go with. Here, I would like to help you in knowing how to choose your topic according to your individuality. I am going to tell you 3 major points that I think should be taken into consideration for choosing your thesis topic. Let’s have a look at them.
Choose a thesis topic that interests you the most.
Thesis contains a lot of research and work, that too for a long time. This is the only chance where we get to choose whatever we like to design in our academic years. If we choose something that we are interested in then we may get involved a lot in it and it can come up with a really good design. Sometimes we don’t know what we are interested in. In such cases, you may experiment with your choice and maybe you will find something you are interested in after that. In such cases, you can also go for something that you have a great knowledge of.
Choose a topic related to something that you would like to work upon in future.
We generally find our ultimate interest in the last three years of our degree. If you have found that, then you may go with the topic that is related to your future interest as a thesis is a very important part of our portfolios. For example, someone has developed an interest in the hospitality sector or vernacular architecture, urban design, etc. and wants to work in the same sector after degree. So that person can choose some topic related to that.
Okay! So generally, we have to give interviews and make portfolios even for admission to higher studies. If you are planning to go for masters and you have decided what stream it will be then you can choose your thesis topic according to that. It will help us a lot while the admission procedure and after it as due to our research during the thesis, we will have knowledge of at least the basics of what we are going to study further.
So, after talking about how to choose a topic. Let me tell you what kind of topics you should avoid.
- Avoid the topic you are not interested in at all: If we choose something that we aren’t interested in then we may lose interest during the thesis and it may get worse.
- Avoid the topic that can be controversial: You will be so much into a controversy of that topic validation that you will deviate from the real purpose of the thesis.
- Avoid using such words in your thesis topic that you can’t/don’t want to define or calculate: for example, if you use words like affordability or sustainability or zero energy. You should get into the definitions, exact determination and calculation of that project in those terms. You have to tell and give calculations of affordable for whom and how? You have to show the graphs of how you achieved it. If you can’t do it, don’t use such words.
Before finalizing your topic, make sure that you are theoretically aware of your topic and the related things. You should be well researched and should have met and taken the suggestion of important people involved in that proposed project that you choose as your site. It doesn’t only give you the clarity of your topic but also helps you in viva voice. The more you know, the easier is your design process and jury stages. You should know these things before your topic selection or synopsis stage. So, I would suggest you people to start thinking about your topic even before the thesis semester comes up so that you are very well prepared for your finalization stage of thesis topic. I would say that your pre-thesis involves the process of topic selection and research part even much before the thesis stages start in your institution.
Architecture is not just about the theory or practical. It is about both and so is your thesis. Your research may also include thesis studies of other students in any institution. Generally, every architectural institute allows you to go through the thesis present in their libraries irrespective of you are part of that institution or not. Just have a formal letter from your college or ask the institute about the process or if any particular day is assigned for that.
There are a lot of ways to know previous thesis topics and proposed sites. You just need to do a little bit of work for it. There are a lot of lists on the internet and the websites of certain colleges. You can go through them. You can also search for proposed sites on corporation websites, newspapers or google. You may ask the architects of the area you want to pick your thesis topics in.
These are my suggestions to the archistudents who are going to choose their thesis topics. What are your dos and don’ts for the same? Let us know if any. Until then, Keep designing!