Thesis at Rice is payback time of sorts: it’s the moment when the faculty learns from the students – when graduate students contribute to and advance architecture at Rice.

All Master of Architecture students are required to develop a thesis proposal during their penultimate semester in a one-credit-hour course that is taken alongside the final course in the history and theory sequence, Contemporary Practices. Contemporary Practices considers current and emerging issues and approaches to architecture and urbanism, providing a backdrop against which students independently conceptualize, articulate, and critically evaluate their thesis proposals. Each student is expected to clearly outline a thesis focus and its relevance, its implications, and projected material results: to pose a question that will motivate them as they navigate their early careers and long after they graduate. 

View Thesis Projects

The students admitted to thesis the following semester test their proposed thesis in a project that is a synthesis of intellectual and design objectives. These projects are not meant to be comprehensive building designs; thesis is a laboratory for focused research in our field. Thesis concludes in a final public review with distinguished invited guests that engages the entire school. The project is evaluated both on its own terms and within the broader field of contemporary architectural discourse. Successful theses and the discussion they foster stimulate future activity at Rice Architecture and beyond. 

Selected Thesis Projects

Architectural Drawing

The Effervescent Void City

By Renee Reder 

This thesis proposes a solution to Tokyo's expensive urban densification trajectory by suggesting the creation of underground programming and voids throughout the city. 

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Architectural Drawing

Cultivate Collective

By De Peter Yi 

This thesis analyzes "ant tribes" - young college graduates that group together in large Chinese cities - as the prompt for a new archetypcal housing block. 

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Architectural Drawing

Post-Object Form

By Sasha Plotnikova

This thesis explores the rise of abstraction as it relates to the design of athletic facilities, using unfolding volumes, slipping planes, and projected colors to create space.     

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