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

A Framed Construct

By Shinji Miyajima 

This thesis explores a new technique for design through perspective which produces a phenomenon that reorders our perception of the familiar effects of lightness, heaviness, flatness, and depth within the same framework

See more

Architectural Drawing

Suture and Estrangement in Architecture

By Tiffany Xu 

This thesis investigates techniques of Bertoldt Brecht’s alienation effect, and explores its translation to architecture.

See more

Architectural Drawing

Surface and Seam

By Rose Wilkowski 

This thesis starts with one of architecture’s common limits—stick construction—and leverages the framing to surface relationship by considering the inherent seams produced between material.

See more

Apply Featured