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.

Every Master of Architecture student is required to take Pre-Thesis Preparation: Design Research during their penultimate semester. The course provides an environment and structure in which the conceptual formulation, articulation, and critical evaluation of thesis proposals can take place. Each student is expected to clearly outline a thesis focus and relevance, its architectural implications, and projected material results. This course assists students to pose a question that will continue to motivate them long after they graduate.

View Thesis Projects

The students who are admitted into the Design Thesis in 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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