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How to Create an Effective Thesis Statement in 5 Easy Steps

Creating a thesis statement can be a daunting task. It’s one of the most important sentences in your paper, and it needs to be done right. But don’t worry — with these five easy steps, you’ll be able to create an effective thesis statement in no time.

Step 1: Brainstorm Ideas

The first step is to brainstorm ideas for your paper. Think about what you want to say and write down any ideas that come to mind. This will help you narrow down your focus and make it easier to create your thesis statement.

Step 2: Research Your Topic

Once you have some ideas, it’s time to do some research on your topic. Look for sources that support your ideas and provide evidence for the points you want to make. This will help you refine your argument and make it more convincing.

Step 3: Formulate Your Argument

Now that you have done some research, it’s time to formulate your argument. Take the points you want to make and put them into one or two sentences that clearly state what your paper is about. This will be the basis of your thesis statement.

Step 4: Refine Your Thesis Statement

Once you have formulated your argument, it’s time to refine your thesis statement. Make sure that it is clear, concise, and specific. It should also be arguable so that readers can disagree with it if they choose.

Step 5: Test Your Thesis Statement

The last step is to test your thesis statement. Does it accurately reflect the points you want to make? Is it clear and concise? Does it make an arguable point? If not, go back and refine it until it meets all of these criteria.

Creating an effective thesis statement doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With these five easy steps, you can create a strong thesis statement in no time at all.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.


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  • 1. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 1 “If I had to teach architecture....I would strive to inculcate in my pupils a keen sense of control--unbiased judgment and of the “how” and the “why.” I would encourage them to cultivate this sense till their dying day. But I would want them to base it on an objective series of facts. Facts are fluid and changeable especially nowadays, so I would teach them to distrust formulas and impress on them that everything is relative.” --Le Corbusier FOREWORD Your THESIS is the one project that should integrate all your learning in your 4-year (or so...) stay in BS Architecture. It is suppose to justify your right to graduate. So, you will have to dig into all the knowledge that you have acquired (architectural and otherwise) to come up with a project that is not only feasible, but is also believable and distinctive. It begins with a problem, and ends at finding a solution to that problem. This is not an easy task. With a series of research works and evaluations (and reevaluations... and probably more research work), you need to come up with enough proof that your solution is right. But that’s getting ahead of the job... Right now, you are faced with one big problem. That is, HOW DO YOU COME UP WITH THE PROBLEM? But before we get into that, you have to choose a certain topic first. This will help you narrow down the number, the extent and the magnitude of the problem you want (?) to solve. SUGGESTED PROBLEM AREAS 1. Formulation or development of a project that does no exist yet 2. Generation of useful technical data or technical properties of new material or process 3. Improvement of existing knowledge 4. New application of an existing knowledge 5. Comparative study of two or more entities or development of an improved version of an existing one 6. Physical development of a research work 7. Documentation CRITERIA FOR CHOOSING A TOPIC OR PROBLEM 1. The research topic must be one which YOU selected. 2. It must be within your interest. 3. It must be within your specialization. 4. It must be based on your competence to tackle the necessary work. 5. It must be within your financial capability.
  • 2. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 2 6. It should have definable limits to suit your available resources. 7. It must be researchable and manageable. 8. It must be completed within a reasonable span of time. 9. Its solution must require original, critical and reflective thinking. 10. It must be significant, important and relevant to the present time and situation. 11. It must contribute to the national development goals for the improvement of quality of life. 12. It must contribute to the Institute’s “body of knowledge.” 13. It must not undermine nor compromise the moral and spiritual values of the people. 14. It must advocate changes in the present order of things. 15. It must offer some kind of return for your efforts. 16. It must not involve any hazards such as physical, social or legal. These criteria, by the way, are not the only bases for your selection. You may have some criteria of your own that will help you decide. PROPOSING A PROJECT When you have already set your mind on a certain topic or problem, the next step is to find out its physical application. Your thesis, after all, does not just involve research. Most of the time, the topic or problem chosen must be translated into a structure or a set of guidelines. Here are some questions to help you determine what kind of project you may carry out to interpret your research. 1. What are your interests? Do you know of any organizations or groups that support your interest? They may have possible projects. 2. Do you know of any possible proposal by a government agency and unit which you can further develop? 3. Are you aware of any new concept, technology or project which may be tested for feasibility in local application? 4. Again, you may have other bases that you might want to add to these. Now that you’re set at zeroing in on the topic and the project that you want to work on, it might be really useful in the future to list them down. Read and reread them. If one does not sound good to you, maybe it does not deserve to be in the list. This means you will have to wrack your brains one more time to come up with another one, but then again, it has a big chance of being better than the one you struck out, right? To further assist you in the final decision, you can use a table such as the one shown in Figure 1.
  • 3. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 3 CRITERIA 1. availability of data 2. personal interest 3. financial capability 4. time requirement 5. etc. 6. … 7. … Project 1 Project 2 Project 3 Rating: 1 - Poor 2 – Fair 3 – Good 4 - Very Good 5 - Excellent Figure 1. Selection of Project Please note that this exercise is not part of the book, but for sure you would do things like this to ease your way. After all, the acceptance of the responsibility of undertaking “whatever” is needed to meet your goals is the most important part in selecting a topic, aside from truly understanding every purpose, scope and requirements of the project. Lastly, here are some basic rules in writing your thesis. In this exercise, it is not enough that you know the data, have analyzed them and made your own conclusions based on them. It is also very important that you know why and how you should present such data on your thesis book. DOs AND DON’Ts in writing your paper: 1. Don’t ever copy text from any published works. That is a capital offense in thesis writing. In case you don’t know it yet, you could be jailed for that! Write in your own words. Your comprehension of the things you write can only be shown by your ability to summarize reports. 2. Don’t include photocopied texts in your book except as an appendix. 3. Do acknowledge and cite your source. This applies to all possible data sources including personal interviews. This will save you a lot of effort in explaining some concepts that are not really your own to begin with. 4. Do read and check your work. Checking includes grammar, spelling and composition. Remember, it’s always nice to be short and sweet. ☺ 5. Do include pictures, graphs, maps, charts and sketches. Architecture is a visual medium so always reinforce your ideas with figures. Of course, there should be proper captions. Make your reader understand the significance of that graph that took you hours to make! 6. Don’t use abbreviations, and unnecessary acronyms and contractions. 7. Do make the effort to introduce new ideas, new chapters, etc. This will create a smoother flow of your discussions. 8. Don’t be afraid of computers. They will facilitate editing and help you come up with better visual presentations.
  • 4. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 4 CONTENTS THE THESIS BODY Chapter 1. INTRODUCTION A. The Problem and Its Setting a. Background of the Study b. Statement of the Problem c. Architectural Thesis Goals/Objectives/Strategies d. Scope and Limitations e. Purpose/Relevance/Significance of the Study f. Assumptions g. Definition of Terms & Concepts B. Review of Related Literature and Studies C. Theoretical/Conceptual Framework D. Methodology of Research E. Bibliography Chapter 2. PRESENTATION OF DATA A. Data Management a. Present Condition b. Primary Data c. Tables and Graphs B. Case Studies a. Scope and Delimitations b. Case Studies c. Summary and Recommendations Chapter 3. ANALYSIS & INTERPRETATION A. Situational Analysis a. Identification/Assessment of Needs b. Restatement of the Problem c. Recommendations B. The Site a. Background
  • 5. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 5 b. Site Selection Criteria c. Site Selection and Justification d. Site Analysis e. SWOT Analysis f. Baseline Studies g. Factors and Issues Relevant to the Site C. Behavioral Analysis a. Activity Flow Diagrams b. Environment-Behavior Studies c. Interrelationship Analysis D. Viability Studies a. Technical Viability and Environmental Impact Assessment b. Legal Viability c. Financial Viability d. Design Proposal Chapter 4. PROGRAMMING A. Behavioral Analysis B. Interrelationship Analysis C. Qualitative Analysis D. Quantitative Analysis Chapter 5. SYNTHESIS A. Design Philosophy B. Design Goals & Objectives C. Design Concepts D. Design Parameters Chapter 6. TRANSLATION
  • 6. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 6 chapter 1. INTRODUCTION A. THE PROBLEM AND ITS SETTING a. INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND This is the part that is supposed to give the reader a clear idea of what your thesis is all about. Remember, clear idea. So you cannot just go discussing anything you come across without understanding how it relates to what you want to achieve in the end. Here are some of the points you have to cover to make sure that you are writing your Introduction properly. A proper Introduction will give the reader a strong strong vision of the direction you want your project to take. 1. Present the problems and concerns which brought you to choose to work on your proposal. You should do this without using the word “I” and without presenting your proposal just yet. 2. Inform your reader of the present scenario -- the unsatisfactory conditions and the problems that you feel need to be solved (and that YOU can actually solve ARCHITECTURALLY). These would include such aspects such as technical problems; absence/incompatibility of present site; need for proper planning; need for recognition of potentials; etc. Make sure, though, that you stick only to the relevant factors. Try not to lose focus so early, okay? 3. State the reason/s why it is necessary to conduct the study which will lead to your solution. This is sometimes called the “RATIONALE” (which is also a tip: this is where you rationalize what you are doing. Why in the world must you do this!? Will it make the world a better place?) 4. Does your problem have a historical background? Most problems do. Trace it. Then present it clearly and coherently. But be careful about delving too much on the historical context. Once you've connected the historical events with present developments and the problem at hand, move on. 5. Ask yourself these questions: Do you have a clearer and deeper understanding of the conditions pertinent to your problem? Do you want to find a way to solve it? If there are already existing ways of solving it, are you interested in going the extra mile to come up with a better solution? If your answer to these questions is a resounding “YES!”, then tell your reader so (again: do not use “I” and do not actually address your reader). All you have to do here is convince your reader that your project is worth your effort and the reader’s attention. 6. Describe the conditions of your study locale. You should do this in an informative manner which is not too technical for readers with no
  • 7. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 7 background in architecture. And you should do this whether the locality is being used as a source of basic data or a targeted site for application. 7. Wrap up. Before you start with the next part, make sure that you have linked all the things you’ve discussed. Do not leave the reader wondering where on earth you got the idea of conducting this study. If you can come up with a clever parting statement here, then by all means, DO! b. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM This is composed of a GENERAL STATEMENT of a MAJOR PROBLEM and SPECIFIC QUESTIONS or SUB PROBLEMS pertaining to your thesis topic. If you have formulated them in the Introduction, you only need to repeat them in this section. Since you will be focusing on several RESEARCH TOPICS, you may be able to come up with different specific needs that may be addressed by your thesis. The specific needs that you have identified are supposed to make your project unique from other studies. Let your reader know this by stating your problem in a SIMPLE, CLEAR and DIRECT manner. c. ARCHITECTURAL THESIS GOAL/OBJECTIVES/STRATEGIES ARCHITECTURAL THESIS GOAL There is one very important word here and that is “ARCHITECTURAL.” You can begin “selling” your project here by defining what kind of STRUCTURE you want to see in the translation of your study. A brief description of the outcome could also help so that a conceivable “image” may be formed. Keep in mind that you are doing an architectural thesis. Refrain from devising PROGRAMS for the operations of your project. OBJECTIVES Objectives are more SPECIFIC targets which eventually leads to the attainment of your architectural goal. You may want to group them by certain categories as determined by your goal, or arrange them according to importance. For time-specific objectives, a chronological arrangement may be more advisable. Though you haven’t defined your conceptual and theoretical frameworks at this point, you must have a clear idea of what their basis would be (clue: RESEARCH TOPICS?). Therefore, make sure that your objectives are consistent with the topics that you want to work on. Again remember the keyword: architectural! STRATEGIES Strategies are simply particular actions you have to do to achieve each specific objective. Forget about architectural for a while and focus on RESEARCH WORK. What do you need to know, study, research on, survey,
  • 8. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 8 observe, estimate or program in order to create a body of knowledge that will lead to meeting your objectives. It would, therefore, be more comprehensible if you follow the succeeding outline in stating your thesis goals, objectives and strategies. GOAL OBJECTIVES 1. STRATEGIES 1. 2. 2. STRATEGIES 1. 2. As you enumerate the objectives and strategies, keep checking their relevance to your goal. If you do not see a direct relationship, scrap the objective before you get carried away identifying the strategies. And please be consistent with your sentence structure. If you begin the GOAL and the first OBJECTIVE with “To + verb....”, use the format until you ran out of objectives to state. Strategies are a totally different thing. They are structured in the imperative form (the better to scare you into doing them, perhaps?). d. SCOPE and LIMITATIONS SCOPE OF THE STUDY It is very important that you state in the clearest manner possible the coverage of your study and project. To do this, you must first ask yourself what you need to do and why you need to do them. Once you’ve identified these you can again categorize or group them to gauge the task better. Let’s say you will be covering a lot of investigation with respect to the site. Identify what you need to know as required by your project. Then let’s say again that you also have to conduct deeper research about your thesis topic/s. Do you know why? Of course, you do. Write your purposes. Elaborate if possible. Then let’s say further that you’ll be conducting case studies. What will be your subjects? What will you be looking into? Will it be the locale, the users, the activities, what? Then (as you may have already guessed) you have to explain why. Then let’s say you stop. Good. LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY Most researchers make the mistake of using this part of the paper to state simply what their project will NOT be about. But then again, who said that you are like most researchers? You’re not, right? Right. So make this a statement of the constraints or limiting factors that might affect your research, and therefore, the final output. Some examples would be budgetary limits (don’t we all have
  • 9. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 9 this??), unavailability or inaccessibility of data, and of course our favorite excuse: time constraints However, these limitations are determined only to keep your study at a realistic level and in no way should be used as an excuse for personal shortcomings or blocks in the outcome of the project. e. PURPOSE/ RELEVANCE/ SIGNIFICANCE OF THE THESIS Who will benefit from your studies? How can this study be of any help in fostering a better architecture? These are few of the questions you have to take into consideration in writing the significance of your thesis. This may deal with the social, economic or cultural aspects of the project. You can even combine or address all of the aspects if you like. But HOLD IT! Do not think of yourself as some kind of a God who can actually SOLVE the problems with your thesis in blink of an eye. You can not alleviate poverty nor improve the whole bureaucratic system through your study. But it can be a TOOL. ( and it MUST be a tool if that is what you aim). Always keep in mind that you are an architect, not a psychologist, sociologist, physician nor a politician. And so you must always direct your discussions on the ARCHITECTURAL aspect of your work. Oftentimes, you are carried away by the description drawn from the client’s project proposals and thereby forgetting the architectural contributions you want your project to have. Example, if you are working on a Rehabilitation Center for Drug Dependents, you will not say that your thesis can actually heal these addicts. Instead, you can state your possible contributions, as an architect, to meet this concern. f. ASSUMPTIONS The thesis, though a theoretical exercise which need no immediate application, should however be as REALISTIC and ACHIEVABLE as possible. It would only mean that you will be dealing with assumptions which will support your study and give substance to your work. These may be conditions where you base your study that need some validation through key informants you have interviewed. Your client’s name, the possible funding source, the organization who will run the proposal and the likes are examples of these. Your assumptions can be of great help when dealing with programming and cost analysis Further, it can bring your project into a more realistic sense and create a more formidable framework for the design. g. DEFINITION OF TERMS and CONCEPTS One caution in doing this: This is NOT a mini-dictionary. And so you are reminded that you will just write words that you believe are TOO TECHNICAL for your readers. Do not include terms which are only unfamiliar to you. You might end up doing a list of terms for you and not your readers.
  • 10. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 10 The following are some guidelines in writing an effective definition of terms: 1. Only terms, words or phrases which have special or unique meanings in the study are defined. Example: Learning areas may be defined as a classroom, but may take another meaning as to what your study is all about, say a laboratory or a drafting room. 2. Terms should be defined operationally, that is, how they are used in your study. For instance the study is about accessibility. What do you mean by accessibility? To make the meaning clear you have to define what covers the term, essential for a clearer understanding of your study. 3. You may develop your own definition from the characteristics of the term defined. Thus, a house made of light materials may be defined as one made of bamboo, nipa, buri, etc. This is also an operational definition. 4. Definitions may be taken from valid sources. Encyclopedias, reference books, magazines and newspapers are samples of these. And hey, because these are printed and published materials, you need to acknowledge them in any form possible. Definitions taken from these kinds of materials are called conceptual or theoretical definitions. 5. Acronyms should always be spelled out especially they are not commonly known or if they were used for the first time. You may be using and typing the same long meaning of Department of Environment and Natural Resources for a hundred times or even more along your work. So don’t you think DENR would be a better alternative? 6. Use simple words in defining your terms. It would be more complicated if you will not, and therefore building another bulk of things to be defined. 7. Definitions should be as brief, clear and direct as possible. Need we say more? B. REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE AND STUDIES When you have already established your scope, you probably would have also known the coverage of your thesis. Hence, you are ready to define varied literature related to your study. These are summarized versions of articles, researches, write- ups and other thesis works which are somehow related to your topic(s). The key here is simple. The more you read, the better! And therefore the easier for you to visualize and understand the needs of your work. This would also help you know where will you take-off. Having known what were already written and published, you will then have the idea where would you start your study. Will it just be a continuation of an existing project? Will you just be pushing a new theory related to those previously stated? Or is it a totally new project with totally new concepts related to the existing ones? To help you further understand, here are some guidelines on citing related literature.
  • 11. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 11 1. Materials must be as recent as possible. New learnings are discovered everyday. Your piece of literature may be true and relevant today but not in the next months or years. It is not that changes occurs that abrupt but developments may arise which may have altered the theories presented on your researched literature. 2. Materials must be as objective and as unbiased as possible. You have to avoid material which are obviously and extremely siding an organization, group or an individual figure, whether political, religious or otherwise. 3. Materials may not be too few or too many. It is always best to know where and when to stop. Maintain a balanced presentation of literature, just enough, not to overwhelm your readers. In an undergraduate thesis like yours, ten (10) pieces of literature for review is recommended. C. THEORETICAL/CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK Your thesis is a research-based thesis. It means that you are supposed to formulate ideas based on your gathered facts and information to later on be applied to a specific project. To know the applicability of these theories, it is essential that you create a framework. Something which will bind your thoughts into one concrete THRUST-- where ALL your inputs as well as your outputs will be based. Usually, your research topics correspond to these. You must always remember that these topics are supposed to be supportive ideas in the development of your study, if not the main end of it. This will be the part where you will inform your readers if there is a theory you want to prove e.g. a limited area can affect the behavior of a drug dependent, or a concept you want to test say, a moving space is best suited for the healing mind. You might wonder what the difference between a theory and a concept is. According to Homans (1967), a THEORY has three basic components (1) conceptual scheme (2) set of proposition stating relationships between properties or variables and (3) context for verification. Your Architectural Theory of Design subjects (AR 273 and 263) clearly state this as a relation between two properties, in the given example, space and behavior. Theories have been subjected to further studies by various people and yet they are still something that can be verified. Your thesis can be a supportive study and a test if the theories presented are really true. A theory is something which already has a proponent. It means that a person before you had already proposed this theory and other people have been verifying this as well. Therefore, your framework should be based from a proponent and the consolidation of studies made as well to see the extent of verification done. CONCEPTS on the other hand are just ideas or concrete expression of terms (see chapter on concept). These may be based on your OWN ideas and NOT coming from another researcher or proponent. If your research topic will be working on this type of a framework, then you have to state so. Yes, this may sound a little bit confusing and difficult at first but you have already done this before, haven’t you? You are just to organize and give your work a more solid basis by stating the theories and/or concepts and HOW will you go about this. Again, these may just be part and parcel of the research topic or the entire thesis.
  • 12. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 12 D. METHODOLOGY OF RESEARCH In any research, it is not only important that you know WHAT to do but more essentially HOW you will do it. The methods of research (check your AR 483) will help you with this process. You see, this is an organized table or framework which explains the step by step process of doing your study. You can choose from a number of methods used in an architectural research (descriptive, analytic or a combination), you have to enumerate them and elaborate and explain as well why are you using them. If it is an interview: with whom? why?, etc. If it is a survey: what type of questions will you be asking? How were you able to establish them? And so on and so forth... It is also recommended that you prepare a WORK PLAN. This is a synthesis of your plan and how are you going to conduct the study. a. SYSTEMS OF INQUIRY b. RESEARCH DESIGNS c. RESEARCH TACTICS E. BIBLIOGRAPHY This is the list of references (books, magazines, interviews, etc.) you have consulted in the development of your book.. Here items are arranged alphabetically regardless of the articles a, an and the. You may provide bibliographies for every chapter and have them listed at the end. You can break down a rather long bibliography according to topics or type of publication, but you have to maintain an alphabetical arrangement within each section. Remember to put the authors’ surname first, then the first name and middle name or intial (if any). Separate the major elements with a period. Page numbers are only necessary if the source is an article, but if it is a book, you need not indicate them. The following are some examples of possible sources and the manner by which you should include them in the Bibliography. 1. Bibliography style for a book by one author Jodidio, Philip. Architecture Now. Cologne, Germany: Taschen GMBH, 2001. 2. For a book by two authors. Use commas to separate names. Kirk, Stephen J. and Spreckelmeyer, Kent F. Enhancing Value in Design Decisions. New York: Random House, 1993. 3. For a book by three or more authors. Use semicolons to separate names Dacanay Jr., Julian E; Encarnacion, Rosario S; and Perez III, Rodrigo D. Folk Architecture. Quezon City: GCF Books, 1989. For when there are more than three authors, you could include the names of all the authors, space permitting, or use and others or et al. Bradock, Richard, and others. Research in Written Composition. Urbana, Ill.: National Council of Tecahers in Englih, 1963. 4. For a book by an organization US Department of Commerce. Pocket Data Book USA 1976. Washington, D.C.: US Government Printing Office, November, 1976.
  • 13. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 13 5. For a book by an author with a pen name. Use the pen name of an author if that is what the title page shows. No need to supply the real name. 6. For a book with the author’s name not given • name known but not given on the title page [Nesmith, Eleanor Lynn.] Instant Architecture. New York: Byron Preiss Visual Publication, 1995. • name involves guesswork [Nesmith, Eleanor Lynn?] Instant Architecture. New York: Byron Preiss Visual Publication, 1995. • name is not given nor ascertainable (do not use anon. or anonymous) Air Pollution Primer. New York: National Tuberculosis and Respiratory Disease Asscociation, 1991. 7. For a book with editor, compiler, or translator in place of author. Editor or other term is abbreviated and places after the name. Devoto, Bernard, ed. Mark Twain: Letters from the Earth. New York: Harper and Row, 1962. Cromley, Elizabeth Collins and Hudgins, Carter L., eds. Shaping Communities. Knoxville, Tennessee: The University of Tennessee Press, 1997. 8. For a book with editor, compiler, or translator in addition to author. Author’s name first. Place the name of the editor, compiler, or translator after the title Twain, Mark. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Edited by Henry Nash Smith. Boston: Houghto Mifflin Co., 1958. 9. For a book edition, series, or volume. Himstreet, William C., and Baty, Wayne Murlin. Business Communication: Principles and Methods. 7th ed. Boston: Kent Publishing Company, 1984. Churchill, Winston E. The Second World War. 6 vols. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1948. Mencken, H. L. The American Language. 4th ed., corrected, enlarged and rewritten. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1986. Mencken, H. L. The American Language. Supplement 1. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1986. 10. For a book in a reprinted edition. Data on the reprinting publisher are given after the data on the original publisher. Bierce, Ambrose. The Devil’s Dictionary. Neale Publishing Co., 1911. Reprint. New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1958. 11. For an unpublished work (thesis, manuscript, book in draft). Title is placed in quotation marks and is not underlined. The word thesis or a similar term is used to label the work Dela Cruz, Juan. “Revitalization of the City of Malolos.” Undergraduate Thesis. Bulacan: Bulacan State University, 2001. 12. For articles. Give title of article in quotation marks, title of periodical underlined, volume number and issue number and date and the inclusive pages that the article appeared on Lacayo, Richard. “Buildings that Breathe” Time Magazine. (September 2, 2002), 60-62. • With newspapers, it is sometimes necessary to give the section number or name with the page number Clines, Francis X. “The Mother Tongue Has a Movement.” New York Times (June 3, 1984), 8E.
  • 14. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 14 Corwin, Miles. “A City with Its Own “Official Language.’” San Francisco Chronicle (May 19, 1985), Punch, 3 • For when an article is continued Lacayo, Richard. “Buildings that Breathe” Time Magazine. (September 2, 2002), 60-62, 83 13. For a work cited in another work. Walpole, Jane R. Why Must the Passive Be Damned?” College Composition and Communication. 30:3 (October, 1979), 251. In Bush, Donald. “The Passive.” Technical Communication, 28:1 (First Quarter 1981) 19-20, 22. 14. For government documents. Follow the style shown for a book by an organization. Use the style appropriate for the number of author/s 15. For a computer software program. • Include the name of the writer of the program, if known. • Underline the title of program • Label Computer Software neither underlined nor enclosed in quotation marks. • Include name of distributor and the year of publication. • Separate items with periods, but place between distributor and the year of publication. • Add any pertinent information like the computer for which the software was designed, the number of units of memory, and the form of the program 16. For an on-line information. This is treated as a printed material, but with a reference to the source/site at the end of the entry. 17. For repeated Bibliography items. When several works by the same author are listed in sequence, you may repeat the author’s name, or use a line of 5 hypens in place of the author’s name. .
  • 15. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 15 chapter 2. PRESENTATION OF DATA Architecture is not in the empty building, but in the vital interchange between building and participant. - Cesar Pelli (1926 - ) Argentine-born U.S. architect. A. DATA MANAGEMENT After drawing a clear introduction and orienting your readers with the particulars of your thesis, you are supposed to give them the “meat” of the book in this chapter. You are to give your readers a comprehensive report of the facts you have gathered during the course of your research. However, you should be careful on what to present. This is not a mere tally nor collection of data. Presentation involves organization. To give you a clearer picture, you may do the following suggestions: 1. Segregate the facts from the concepts. You probably know now what the difference is between these two. Factual data are those information based on what is existing, something which is of truth and reality. Conceptual data may be written ideas which you could use as basis for your study. It is necessary for you to know this so as you would determine which data can be processed and what are not. 2. Recognize what data to present. You might be tempted to present several bits of information or a huge number of knowledge about the topics you are studying. DON’T. Analyze the articles, tables, etc. and their relevance to your thesis. Ask yourself. Are these really helpful? Are these important? Can I do without them? You see, not because an article or a clipping tells you about your topic, it would automatically qualify and be accepted as data. 3. Organize your data. It would be necessary to have proper sequencing of the data you will be presenting. Sequencing would mean developing your data presentation from the simplest to the most complex ideas. It would also help if you would relate topics after topics so that you would establish the links between them, to later on be connected to the main thing. Alright, you may be a bit lost about that, but here’s a more comprehensible way of looking at it. The following is a detailed discussion of the types of data to be presented and the manner it should be presented. a. PRESENT CONDITION It is inevitable to come up with basic data about your proposal. These come in statistical form. You may have to come back to your good old junior year in high school to be able to understand this. But hey, haven’t you done this before when you were doing your research methods a year ago? Yes, this is as simple as showing factual data to your readers, whether in textual, tabular or graphical form.
  • 16. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 16 However, you have to take note that these are “statistical” data and so these are data, already processed, initially, by the agency where you got them. Population, vehicular volume and Growth in Rice Production are just few samples of such. 1. DEMOGRAPHIC DATA Present and Projected Population Population Distribution by: Age, Sex, Religion, Educational Attainment, Employment, Income Urban-Rural Population Distribution Population Density Growth Trends Literacy Rate Household Size Number of Dwelling Units by: Type of Construction Materials, Structure, Ownership 2. PHYSICAL DATA Macro-Site Data Political Boundaries Area and Land Uses Climate Adjoining Areas and Uses Access Micro –Site Data Boundaries Area Land Use Topography/ Landform Water Bodies and Quality Orientation in relation to solar paths and wind paths Vegetation Flora and Fauna Visual Resources Existing Structures 3. SECTORAL DATA General Public Services This covers the administrative systems of the municipality, e.g., organizational structure, policy development and information management. This also includes the local government’s financial and fiscal administration. Social Services This encompasses education, culture, sports and manpower development; health and sanitation, nutrition and population policies; housing and community development; social welfare, protective services and recreational facilities of the municipality. Economic Services This covers agriculture, trade and industry, tourism, labor and employment; existing and projected uses of and demand for land; projected income and employment opportunities; direction and pattern of growth of agriculture and industry.
  • 17. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 17 Physical Infrastructure This includes the inventory of roads, transportation, communication, sewage and drainage, power, telecommunication, drinking water, solid waste disposal, transport terminal, traffic management. 4. INDUSTRY PROFILE This consists of pieces of information relative to particular industries or aspects of the economy. Following are some examples of industries that need to be studied relative to a number of thesis topics. Industries Thesis Topics The housing industry Subdivision development Community development Housing components and materials The retail sales industry Commercial development The health care industry Pharmaceutical Facilities Hospital Complex The transport industry Sea Port development Multi-modal facilities The manufacturing industry Industrial development Production Centers The food industry Food processing plants The tourism industry Historic town renewal plans The telecommunication Industry Information Technology Centers Some of the basic data that make up the industry profile are the following: • Current Standards of Operation • Accomplishments and Shortfalls vis-à-vis industry targets • Administrative/Organizational, Technical/Technological, Problems • Outlooks or envisioned future business environments • Players and Leaders in the Industry • Competition and Competitive Advantages • Opportunities for Improvement b. PRIMARY DATA Primary data come from original sources. They are not commentary about the topic, but rather consists of information that must be commented upon by succeeding topics. Tactics that may be used to gather Primary Data include interviews, listening (to symposia, lectures), focus groups, surveys and observations (participatory, non- parcipatory).
  • 18. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 18 Tactics Interactive Non-interactive Interviews • In-depth interviews • Key informants interview • Career histories Listening • Symposia • Lectures Focus Groups • Discussions guided to test in small groups • Participants help construct the right questions Surveys • Multiple sorting • Projective surveys Observation • Participant observation • Non-participant observation stream of behavior • Chronicles • Field notes • Visual mapping c. TABLES and GRAPHS You may have already identified these tables and graphs at the beginning of your book, but you might be wondering where these will appear. If you think that they will all come in a single bulk in just a single chapter, think again. This chapter may contain most of these figures but you are free to present some whenever the need in certain discussions arises. We are architects and so these graphs and illustrations will always be our most effective tools in expressing our thoughts. Now, the question you might have in your mind is what are these tables? What about these graphs? A statistical table or simply table is defined as a systematic arrangement of related data in which classes of numerical facts or data are given each a row and their subclasses are given each a column in order to present the relationships of the sets or numerical facts or data in a definite, compact and understandable form or forms. Now, you may probably recognize a table when you see one, right? A graph on the other hand, is a chart representing the quantitative variations or changes of a variable itself, or quantitative changes of a variable in comparison with those of another variable or variables in pictorial or diagrammatic form. There are some advantages of using a graph over a table. These are: 1. It attracts attention more effectively than tables, and, therefore is less likely to be overlooked. Your readers may skip tables but pause to look at charts.
  • 19. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 19 2. The use of colors and pictorial diagrams make a list of figures in thesis reports more meaningful 3. It gives a comprehensive view of quantitative data. A moving line exerts a more powerful effect in the reader’s mind than the tabulated data. It shows what is happening and what is likely to take place. 4. Its general usefulness lies in the simplicity it adds to the presentation of the numerical data. But graphs have disadvantages as well as advantages. They are generally inaccurate, incomplete, more expensive and time consuming. Further, graphs can only be made only the data have been tabulated. Listed below are the varied types of graphs you may encounter: 1. Bar graphs a. Single vertical bar graph b. Single horizontal bar graph c. Grouped or multiple or composite bar graph d. Duo-directional or bilateral bar graph e. Subdivided or component bar graph f. Histogram 2. Linear graphs a. Time series or chronological line chart b. Composite line chart c. Frequency polygon d. Ogives e. Band chart 3. Hundred percent graphs or charts a. Subdivided bar or rectangular bar graph b. Circle or pie chart 4. Pictograms 5. Statistical maps 6. Ratio charts You might just be copying these tables, graphs and charts as part of your presentation of data. But don’t you think it would be more fruitful on your part if you’ll be doing these by yourself? Why not? You might have already gathered your data and so you are in the right position to process them yourself and show your readers these data as you understand them. Come on, you can do it.
  • 20. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 20 B. CASE STUDIES This chapter is actually an extension of your Research Data. The difference is that with Case Studies, you are analyzing existing related structures, groups, localities and situations and you might be getting information that may not be available in textbooks or previous studies. This is especially true for local cases that may have some connection with your project. Focus, however, should be on the variable that may be difficult to determine without actual reconnaissance. Do not forget that you are the one who has the best understanding of your project and what information you need from the case studies. That simply means that it is also YOU who can conduct the studies most effectively. If you need information regarding structures or scenarios abroad (especially if you want to determine the applicability of certain theories and principles to the Philippines), you can use secondary data. It is best, in this case, to come up with at least one local study (besides the foreign one) so that it would be easier to determine the applicability and feasibility of foreign concepts in local settings. a. SCOPE and DELIMITATIONS As you study different cases, it would become evident to you that each structure, user group, locality or situation is made up of several variables. A study of a municipality, for instance, could cover its physical, cultural, historical, social and economic frameworks. But not all of these may be relevant to your project. So, you have to state in the SCOPE all the specific concerns that you will focus on. You also have to discuss the extent of work that you will cover in regard to these elements. To further clarify matters, you can discuss all those concerns that you will NOT be covering in the DELIMITATION. This will give your reader a more simplified view of what to note in the cases under study. b. CASE STUDIES Each case study can be presented by first explaining how they are related to your project. You can discuss the situation by dividing it into sub components and presenting their respective merits. If you think that sketches, maps, graphs and photographs would help you explain them better, then use them to support your data. Just remember to provide proper captions or else, they may be useless. Lastly, you have to make sure that all the specific concerns are discussed properly, and their relevance to the project stated clearly. It is also advisable that you choose cases that are related to your thesis in distinctly varied ways. One case study may be concerned with a project similar to your proposal and another which employs a technology which is comparable to what you are proposing. You might also be able to draw more reliable conclusions by studying both local and foreign cases. At least three TOPICS for study would be ideal -- a study of similar user groups, a study of a case similar to the project (local and foreign), and a study of
  • 21. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 21 the current trend/s (local and foreign) pertinent to the project. It might also be useful to include a failed case that used the same technique or was intended for the same user group. Even failed cases are helpful in your research as they give you a fairly good idea of what NOT to do. However, please take note of the word TOPIC. This does not mean that you have to limit your case studies to three also. c. SUMMARY and RECOMMENDATIONS This is where you correlate and summarize all the factors that you have studied to see their implications to the project. You can end this chapter by recommending and endorsing concepts and approaches learned from the case studies according to their suitability to your project. C. RESEARCH TOPIC (or you can write the TOPIC TITLE) A research topic is something born with your thesis. Ideally these topics should be thought of before the project since these are basically the things of your interest. But of course, we don’t want to be too idealistic here, and so they may come together as a package, with the source of your project hooked on these topics. In selecting a research topic, you should look into your thesis project and see the possible requirements or kind of character which will make it unique or increase its architectural value. In other words, being the “soul” of your book, this section will give your readers a great deal of what they will be reading as they go along with your thesis. These research topics do not only explain the essential things about your study but clarify as well the theoretical or conceptual framework you mentioned in Chapter 1. This would require you to write the applicability of these topics to your project and so you should be wise in selecting the topics. Be very specific. Focus. How will you do this? First, you have to orient your readers why you choose the topics as your focal points of study. You can very well do this by reiterating the roots of your problem(s). You have to go back to the background you have presented in Chapter 1 and stress the need for the topics to be studied so as to have a clear solution, in the end, to the problems posted in your statement. THE RESEARCH BODY This is the thorough discussion regarding your research. This should contain studies, approaches as well as trends (of course acknowledged) relative to your topic. But don’t be misguided. A common mistake here is that the contents of the research body are lifted from published work, completely! This is a big no-no! Any data or information appearing on this part will have to be processed and quoted. Discussions should be paraphrased and again – for the nth time – properly acknowledged! The information should be brief and discussions well-organized. Again, the key is focus. If for example you are to discuss behavioral analysis as a research topic, do you need to write everything about behavior including the psychology of the human mind if your only concern is the behavior of a child? Just to inform your readers about the basic, why not? But the meat of the discussion should be on the psychology of
  • 22. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 22 children. Focus! You may also want to mention cases and examples, but you must not discuss them fully as you would be required to do in the Case Studies. APPLICATION It was mentioned earlier that your research will not have any value or significance unless you connect it with a project which will manifest the studies made. This is the part where you relate your topics with your project. Let us continue our example on the behavioral analysis. It will be pertinent to note not only the theories on behavior but its application to the architectural sense as well. You may have to study theories on perception, color and space to support your documented research when applied to the “real thing”. Again, you have to be specific. Bear in mind that what you’ll be writing should be something which will give your readers a clear understanding of your thesis and not confuse them. So go straight to the point. However, you will not stop when you have given the application. You still have to cross examine these data. Check on its economic feasibility and other areas you might think is appropriate for study. This lecture was compiled from the following references: The Far Eastern University Architecture Thesis Manual Guide for Writing the Master of Architecture Thesis, University of the Philippines
  • 23. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 23 3. ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION OF DATA A. SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS a. IDENTIFICATION/ASSESSMENT OF NEEDS If you think that it is enough just to gather and present your data think again. They will have no value unless they can be related to the project. What you have to do in this chapter is “sift” through the information that you have presented in the previous chapters and come up with those that can serve as a basis for further developments. With the theoretical foundation that you’ve laid out in Chapter 1 and the factual components that you’ve presented in Chapter 2, you can very well analyze WHAT REALLY NEEDS TO BE DONE. But remember, the needs you identify here should always be ones that can be satisfied by ARCHITECTURAL SOLUTIONS. Otherwise, discard them or process them so that although the root may be social, psychological, physiological, etc., the expressed needs and requirements are architectural. b. RESTATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM Okay, so you might think that we’re going back to Chapter 1 here. This time, you’re right. At least, in a way. You have to reread the Statement of the Problem you formulated with only preliminary information and high hopes. You have the facts now. This time, they should anchor your thoughts to the ground. Your situation can have you viewing the problem in a new light. You might need to come up with a NEW STATEMENT. Just don’t veer too far from what you have previously stated. Keep this in mind: new view but not necessarily new problem. If, on the other hand, all the facts just reinforced the problem you stated in Chapter 1, do not feel compelled to change your statement. All you have to do in this case is to RESTATE it. That simple. c. RECOMMENDATIONS So, you have made the problem clearer and more specific than before. What do you do now? That would be what you will be discussing in this section. This may be a statement of what structure you have concluded is necessary to solve the problem. If there are concepts and theories that need to be studied and discussed further so that you could arrive at the most effective design solutions, you have to present them along with your recommendations. Same goes if you think that there is a new design approach which has to be developed and used for the proposal.
  • 24. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 24 B. THE SITE It must be our primary concern as designers to find the most ideal combination of function and location. We might struggle to create a very well-contrived plan but if the structure juts out like a sore thumb in its location, all the programs we use and the designs we produce can come to nothing. For this chapter, you will have to conduct several types of studies at several levels to come up with the best site for your proposed project. The extent of what you will discuss here will depend basically on how important and influential the choice of site is to your project. Your focus should be on the appropriateness and feasibility of possible sites to the intended use. And to determine this, you have to conduct comprehensive analyses of the characteristics of the site and its surrounding areas. Of course, in the end, you will have to indicate how these factors and attributes will affect the project. There are several topics to be covered in this chapter. However, this is once again NOT a standard thing. You can add relevant topics but make sure that each one will be discussed clearly and thoroughly. a. BACKGROUND With a reliable knowledge and a vision of your project proposal, you can now determine its requisite site requirements and the possibility of having to seek for alternatives. Your site may be given, but that does not mean that you will have a lighter workload than if you have to look for one. At this point, at least acquaint your reader with your situation (or predicament?) and what you plan to do about it. If the site is given, brief your reader about pertinent matters in regard to it (location, size, etc.). If it’s not, don’t whine. Just tell the reader so and give him an idea of your game plan for your quest. b. SITE SELECTION CRITERIA In this section, you will have to discuss what features of a site -- both natural and built -- are best-suited to your requirements. It is, therefore, a huge advantage if you can coherently state the character of your project, the site attributes that it requires and why. Don’t worry. The “why?” is quite easy to answer. Did you get them from a textbook? Did you so brilliantly come up with it on your own? Are you following standards set by a government agency? Or is it all of the above? Once you have stated your answer, discuss each criterion intensively. And voila! There’s your SITE SELECTION CRITERIA. Some points may be helpful here: 1. Be specific. Avoid vague statements such as “big enough”, “should be accessible”.... 2. Stick only to the criteria that are most relevant to your project. Time- distances relations, for example, may mean the world to one project and have no effect whatsoever on another.
  • 25. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 25 3. Be realistic. Do not seek qualities that would be impossible to find. Yes, that makes a location on top of a snow-capped mountain here in the Philippines totally out of the question! c. SITE SELECTION and JUSTIFICATION So, let’s say that you were lucky enough to find three possible sites for your project. Start by pointing out their favorable and unfavorable aspects by BRIEFLY discussing each one. It might also simplify the work if you can try to evaluate the sites’ merits using a rating system (1 for severe limitation, 2 - moderate constraint, 3 - good condition, 4 - excellent condition). Then, select the most ideal one. This is the site that could meet the project requirements with the least modifications. Try to see if the score in the rating system validates your choice. The table on Figure 2 is a very effective tool in selecting the best possible site for your proposal. d. SITE ANALYSIS Although the Site Selection Process has already given your reader an idea about your site, deeper analysis is still needed. This is usually done in two levels -- the MICRO SITE ANALYSIS which studies the specific area within the property boundaries and its immediate environs; and the MACRO SITE ANALYSIS which includes the examination of the site environs up to the horizon (sometimes even beyond). In this analysis, the condition of various factors such as utilities, natural elements, climate, infrastructure and sensuous characters are presented. Of course, a discussion of how these factors affect your project always follows. It is sometimes very tempting to limit the discussion of the effects to the most obvious and conspicuous. But since an extensive analysis should be involved, it is possible to learn how each factor influences the project at a deeper level. There will be times, too, when you would feel like you have to LIE about some of the factors. Please DON’T. Your site needs not be perfect. Ideal, yes. But perfect? Not really. If some important elements are absent in your site, say water system, tell the truth. They might sound like big limitations now, but in the end they will serve you better as useful design determinants. So, the more honest you are about them, the better. e. SWOT ANALYSIS To most designers, a tabulated SWOT analysis (defining its STRENGTHS, WEAKNESSES, OPPORTUNITIES and THREATS in relation to your project) may be the best visual guide to the analysis. It can give your reader an idea of how suitable the site is to the project with just one look. It will also enable you to relate these aspects to each other so that you can have a clear idea of your site’s potentials as well as its imperfections.
  • 26. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 26 Figure 2. SITE SELECTION CRITERIA From Landscape Architecture: A Manual for Site Planning and Design By John Ormsbee Simonds New York: Mc-Graw Hill, 1998 CRITERIA Site 1 Site 2 Site 3 Site 4 Site 5 I. II. III. REGIONAL Climate (temperature, storms, rainfall, etc.) Soils (stability, fertility, depth) Water supply and quality Economy (rising, stable, declining) Transportation (highways and transit) Energy (availability and relative cost) Landscape character Cultural opportunities Employment opportunities Health care facilities Major detractions (list and describe) Exceptional features (list and describe) COMMUNITY Travel (time-distance to work, shopping, etc.) Travel experience (pleasant or unpleasant) Community ambience Schools Shopping Churches Cultural opportunities (library, auditorium) Public services (fire, police, etc.) Safety and security Medical facilities Governance Taxes Major detraction (list and describe) Exceptional features (list and descried) NEIGHBORHOOD Landscape character Lifestyle Compatibility of proposed uses Trafficways (access, hazard, attractiveness) Schools Conveniences (schools, service, etc.) Parks, recreation and open space Exposure (sun, wind, storms, planning) Freedom from noise, fumes, etc. Utilities (availability and cost) Major detraction (list and describe) Exceptional features (list and descried)
  • 27. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 27 CRITERIA Site 1 Site 2 Site 3 Site 4 Site 5 PROPERTY Size and shape (suitability) Aspect from approaches Safe entrance and egress On-site “feel” Permanent trees and cover Need for clearing Ground forms and gradients Soils (quality and depth) Relative cost of earthwork and foundation Site drainage Adjacent structures (or lack of) Neighbors Relationship to circulation patterns Relative cost of land and development Major detraction (list and describe) Exceptional features (list and descried) BUILDING SITE Topographic “fit” of programmed user Gradient of approaches Safe distance at entrance drive Orientation to sun, wind and breeze Views Privacy Freedom from noise and glare Visual impact of neighboring uses Visual impact upon neighboring uses Proximity to utility leads LEGEND * - severe limitation # - moderate constraint ^ - condition good > - condition excellent Note: By substituting numbers for symbols, the arithmetic sum for each column would give a general indication of its relative overall rating. It is to be realized, however, that in some cases a single severe constraint or superlative feature might well overwhelm the statistics and become the deciding factor. And remember that this is SITE analysis. Some municipality, city, provincial or even regional data may help but they should NEVER be the focus of this part, much less its only content.
  • 28. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 28 f. BASELINE STUDIES Baselines are starting points from which the design proper takes off. They help paint the backdrop against which the research undertaking is being pursued. Baseline information can be the bases for formulating the parameters by which the outcomes of the research can be evaluated. 1. MAPS Base Maps Municipal or General Base Map Poblacion or Urban Base Map Base Maps for other Built-up Areas Vicinity Map Thematic or Analytical Maps Contour Map Soil Map Slope Map Land Capability Map Soil Suitability for Agricultural Uses Soil Suitability for Urban Uses Hydro-geologic or Groundwater Map Facilities/ Infrastructures Map Development Constraints Map (geologic, fault, flooding, etc.) Special Projects Map Weather Map 2. EXISTING STANDARDS Quality Standards Governing benchmarks that regulate the physical make-up of industry outputs. These are often measured by getting feedbacks from users or consumers Performance Standards These are standards that regulate operations or ways of doing things. These are often quantified and measured in terms of units such as speed, rate, efficiency, etc. g. FACTORS and ISSUES RELEVANT TO THE SITE These are factors and considerations in regard to the site that will be relevant to your project. You may begin this section by presenting a Code Survey. Look for local laws, codes and policies (or even international ones, if necessary) that will help you define the limits of your development. Aside from these, you also have to identify and study other factors that are not based on the law. These would include phenomena which are natural to your site (flooding, strong coastal winds, etc.), local ordinances, local customs and community characteristics. Of course, in the end, you will have to state how all these will affect your site.
  • 29. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 29 CHECKLIST OF SITE DATA From Site Planning by Kevin Lynch M.I.T. Press, Massachusetts. 1979 a. INITIAL PERSONAL RECONNAISSANCE – observation of the site’s apparent character, problem and possibilities presented through notes, sketches, photographs, etc. b. COLLATION OF EXISTING DATA such as contour maps, aerial photos, geological soil and water surveys, climate records, ecological studies, engineering reports, boring tests, census materials, histories, social studies, market reports, traffic studies, legal and public control documents, official proposals, records and current controversies c. SUMMARY DESCRIPTION OF THE OFF-SITE CONTEXT AND ITS CHANGES – geographic location, surrounding populations, social and political structure, general economy, ecological and hydrographic system, land use patterns, access system, principal off-site destinations and facilities d. DATA ON THE SITE AND ITS IMMEDIATE CONTEXT A. PHYSICAL DATA 1. Geology and soil • Underlying geology, rock character and depth • Soil type and depth, value as engineering material and as plant medium • Fill, ledge, slide and subsidence 2. Water • Existing water bodies - variation and purity • Natural and man-made drainage channels - flow, capacity, purity • Surface drainage patterns, amounts, blockages, undrained depressions • Water table - elevation and fluctuation, springs • Water supply - quantity and quality 3. Topography • Pattern of landforms • Contours • Slope analysis • Visibility analysis • Circulation analysis • Unique features 4. Climate • Regional data on variation of temperature, precipitation, humidity, solar angle, cloudiness, wind direction and force • Local microclimates: warm and cool slopes, air drainage, wind deflection and local breeze, shade, heat reflection and storage, plant indicators • Sound level, atmospheric quality, smells 5. Ecology • Dominant plant/animal communities - location and relative stability • Their dependence on existing factors, self-regulation, sensitivity to change • Mapping of general plant cover, including wooded areas
  • 30. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 30 • Specimen trees to be retained: their location, spread, species and elevation at base 6. Man-made structures • Existing buildings: outline, location, floor elevations, type, condition, us • Circulation facilities (roads, paths, rails, transit, etc.): location, capacity, condition • Utilities (storm and sanitary sewers, water, gas, electricity, telephone, steam, etc.): location, elevation, capacity 7. Sensuous Qualities • Character and relation of visual spaces • Viewpoints, vistas and visual focal points • Character and rhythm of visual sequences • Quality and variation of light, sound, smell and feel B. CULTURAL DATA 1. Resident and using population • Number and composition • Social structures and institution • Economic structure • Political structure • Current changes and problems 2. On-site and adjacent behavior settings: nature, location, rhythm, stability, participants, conflicts 3. Site values, rights and restraints • Ownerships, easements, and other rights • Legal controls: zoning and other regulations • Economic values • Accepted “territories” • Political jurisdictions 4. Past and future • Site history and its traces • Public and private intentions for future use of site, conflicts 5. Images • Group and individual identification and organization of site • Meanings attached to the site, symbolic expression • Hopes, fears, wishes, preferences C. DATA CORRELATION 1. Classification of site by areas of similar structure, quality, and problems 2. Identification of key points, lines and areas 3. Analysis of current and likely future changes - the dynamic aspect of the site 4. Identification of significant problems and possibilities Thesis Manual.2006 References: University of the Philippines Masters of Architecture Guide for Thesis-writing Draft of Far Eastern University Architecture Thesis Manual
  • 31. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 31 C. BEHAVIORAL ANALYSIS 1. ACTIVITY FLOW DIAGRAM As your project will cater mainly to its users, it might be useful to your study to look into their patterns of activities as these would help determine the characteristics of spaces which will be provided for them. The pattern of activitiy will also create a basis for the interrelationships of spaces and, consequently, structures. For some projects, the activity flow diagram may be governed by a given schedule. This is true for schools, for example, where the activities of the users as based on the scheduling of classes. For others, the pattern may have to be determined through direct observation, interviews or any first-hand procedure. It is also important to note the less obvious details in the pattern aside from those which are based on a given program or are easily discernible through observation. 2. ENVIRONMENT-BEHAVIOR STUDIES Should your thesis have the behavior of the users as its main thrust, you should expand this part and have a thorough and in depth output. You may not only be dealing with the activities of the users for the time being but would most probably extend your analysis to the culture of these people. Moreover, this would entail a comparative analysis of your users’ behavior with that of other paradigms. Again, this is an analysis and so you would not just list the activities. Apart from identifying the activities and behavior of your users, whether individual or group, you are to give your readers a hint of why you’re discussing these things. How will these affect the overall concept of your thesis? In what way can these behaviors be a tool in designing an effective working environment? Do you need to apply your knowledge in space engineering? The concepts of territoriality, defensible space and space bubbles are very helpful tools in analyzing the behavior of people in relation to the environment. In the end, this procedure will help you understand how the environment shapes behavior and vice-versa. 3. INTERRELATIONSHIP ANALYSIS This is the simplest part of space programming-- but not quite. If you think that doing matrices and bubble diagrams would be too easy for you to do, well unfortunately, they’re not. Although such graphical instruments help facilitate the organization of spaces, they may be too flexible, and so you’ll have the tendency to overlook at the appropriate circulation. To avoid this, it is recommended that you have to go further and create alternative schemes or bubbles (variations of your design) and even zoning (based on the result of matrices) with circulation diagrams of various types of users. The results of your case studies would probably be applied here. Again, you are encouraged to draw various schemes to present probable solutions- and it will not stop there. You have to orient your readers of the variances
  • 32. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 32 and indicate the advantages and disadvantages of each scheme so that you would not have the difficulty of explaining the design of your choice when later on tested against the concepts. Remember to include the services and utilities. There are different methods in programming spaces. It can be a matrix which allocates specific variable depending on the activity e.g. pivotal and then coming up with the area. You may also use basic standards from the National Building Code or other building standards and multiply these with the number of users. Another way is to layout a scheme containing the furniture, spaces, and circulation (of course in scale). This may be most helpful for rooms requiring specific furniture as in hospitals, laboratories, factories and the like. D. VIABILITY STUDIES Viability studies are undertaken to ascertain the possibility of the project getting implemented. They are used to determine probable impediments to project realization and to identify measures by which these impediments may be minimized or eliminated. a. TECHNICAL VIABILITY & ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT The Technical Design Constraints - All designers must work within a set of parameters based on the following: Technology The project must be realizable based on the available systems, infrastructure and know-how. Production, replication, testing must be possible within the existing framework of expertise and tools by which the processes can be carried out. Propositions must be grounded on theories that are sufficiently backed up by past research undertakings. It’s also possible that the proposed project is illustrative of new technology. In this case, the research output must include recommendations on the development of the proposed technology. Cost Project Cost - these are expenses that are directly attributable to the completion of the project. Examples are: design development cost, construction/ development/ production cost Capital - this covers all initial, one-time expenditures. Examples are: construction of production plants, equipment purchase, land acquisition Operating - regular/periodic expenses such as utility bills, salaries for personnel, rentals Maintenance - periodic or one-time expenses for repairs and facilities upgrading
  • 33. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 33 Time Timeframe - a schedule showing how the project will progress over a projected duration must be shown. Schedules may be in the form of a bar chart, an S-curve or a PERT-CPM diagram Phasing- project completion may be done in phases or in distinct time frames Gestation - a lead-time or preparatory period may be needed before a project can fully take-off Resource Requirements Materials - the types, sources and availability of needed building or product components need to be firmed up Manpower - the labor component, required expertise, organizational requirements also need to be identified Equipment - pieces of light and heavy equipment needed for the production and operating stages must be available Site Conditions Location/ Surrounding Areas Land Area and Configuration Access Climate Landforms Topography Geology Soil Type Water Bodies Hydrology Oceanography Vegetation Atmosphere/Air quality Fish and Wildlife Visual Resources Danger/ Hazard prone areas Existing Structures Infrastructure Utilities Water Power Drainage Communication Environmental Impact Assessment- An EIA is undertaken to compare scenarios with and without the proposed project. The results are used to weigh favorable N
  • 34. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 34 against unfavorable impacts of the project on the environment. The word ‘environment’ here refers to both the physical and non-physical dimensions. The physical dimensions cover ecological and technological concerns while the non- physical dimensions cover the social, cultural, economic and political concerns. The Environmental Impact Statement outline prescribed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. 1.0 Name and Address of Project Proponent 2.0 Type of Project 3.0 Overview Summary 4.0 The Project Setting 5.0 The Proposal 6.0 A Brief History of Past Environmental Conditions and a Description of the Existing Environmental and Resource Use. 7.0 Future Environmental Conditions without the Project (An average of five years projection) 8.0 Prediction and Assessment of Impacts 9.0 Contingency Plans 10.0 Environmental Briefings and Monitoring 11.0 Mitigation Measures 12.0 Residual/ Unavoidable Impacts 13.0 Information Deficiencies 14.0 Appendices 15.0 Consultation and Comments including Public Recommendations • Details are in the attached Readings Considering that projects of all types and scale have varying degrees of environmental impacts, the EIA is used to identify ways by which unfavorable impacts may be mitigated. b. LEGAL VIABILITY Projects must be developed and implemented within the existing legal framework that is defined by the following: Design Laws, Codes, Guidelines – examples are the National Building Code, the Referral Codes, Batas Pambansa 220, Batas Pambansa 344, Condominium Act, ICOMOS, Presidential Decree 957 Patent Laws/ Intellectual Property Rights – there are procedures for claiming ownership over intellectual properties in the form of creative work, inventions, models and paradigms
  • 35. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 35 Accreditation – there are also procedures for recognition prior to entry into the target market. For example the AITECH (Accreditation of Innovative Technology) is a task force that screens, evaluates8 and approves new technology for housing Other Laws- other laws that can directly or indirectly affect the project outcome are the Civil Code, laws that cover national defense, trading, taxation, etc. Another legal concern has to do with the entities or personalities that will be tapped to develop and implement the proposed project. Institutional Arrangements- the type and level of networking required to effect project completion need to be identified Concerned Agencies- the particular public or private organizations and their roles in the network should also be clarified It would also be possible that the project is illustrative of the need to modify certain aspects within the existing legal framework. In this case the research output must include recommendations on how these modifications can be systematically effected. c. FINANCIAL VIABILITY Sources of Funds Funds, for various project types, come basically from either public or private sources. Investments of any form and origin need to be recovered and in most cases with an acceptable level of profit. Recovery of investments could be through any of the following: Sales These are the proceeds from the outright disposal of completed products or its independent components. Selling price is determined by market forces and by the prevailing ratio between supply and demand. The final price that is passed on to the buyer/consumer should cover the cost of production and the mark-up. User Charges/ Rentals This strategy attempts to extract the amount required to finance services from those who benefit from their existence. Under perfect conditions, i.e., when the benefits are acknowledged by the beneficiaries, as allocated, then user charges must show a direct linked between the quantity of services and the revenues generated to finance their services. Shared Taxation A tax is a compulsory contribution to government without reference to a particular benefit received by the taxpayer. Subsidy from general taxation occurs when there is
  • 36. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 36 some degree of general benefit, or where consumers cannot afford the full cost of a service that is regarded as essential to human welfare. Funding Terms Borrowings/Loans Large capital investments are usually financed by loans that are granted based on specific lending terms. These terms specify repayment period, mode of payment, interest rates and provisions for penalties. The total amount of loan is distributed over its life and, therefore, to successive beneficiaries. Grants This form of assistance is usually given for pre-identified projects, i.e., conditions for use are normally stipulated. Full cost-recovery is not always expected out of projects that are financed through grants. Financial Benchmarks Profitability The assessment of profitability is begins with the computation of the net income, which basically is equal to Total Revenues less Total Cost. The bottom line figure is then used to compute for the following profitability ratios : Return on Investment (ROI) = Net Income Total Investment Project Life Profit Margin (PM) = Net Income Total Sales Gross Profit Ratio (GPR) = Gross Profit Total Sales
  • 37. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 37 d. DESIGN PROPOSAL Take a deep breath. You’ve come a long way. Take a minute or two to congratulate yourself for what you have accomplished so far. Actually, you will be needing all the confidence you can muster as you forge through the next step: stating your DESIGN PROPOSAL. Since this is the foundation of all that you will be conceptualizing from hereon, the Design Proposal should be discussed in the clearest and most coherent manner possible. Avoid words that may be too technical or too complex or too vague. With just one look at the Proposal, the reader must have a good idea of what to expect in the translation. Aside from this, you must also enumerate the specific functions that your project will perform and the specific activities that it will house. Refrain from naming specific spaces though. This should be done in the Programming part. For example, you can say “a venue for the exhibit of native Filipino art” but you cannot say “museum”. Not yet. Remember: functions and activities only.
  • 38. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 38 chapter 4. PROGRAMMING This is perhaps the most important part of your thesis. Here, you have to come up with the possible areas for your project as a concrete solution to the things you discussed in the earlier part of your work. It would be difficult to understand and appreciate what you’ll write here if you don’t give your readers a background of your project, its purpose, and users. In addition, since the discussion to follow will delve on the administrative structure of the proponent, then it would be helpful if you could also explain what this organization does. Your organizational chart could be your best tool in doing this. Before you go deeper with the details of space programming, it would be appropriate to define the term for you. Space programming is an exercise for the student to concretize the abstractions of space relationships into units of measure as well as the flow or circulation. It is the consolidation of all the requirements, standards, rules and regulations. Requirements would mean the needs of the project (users and systems) in terms of 3-dimensional spaces, facilities, spatial relationships, etc. These may be guided by legal standards or conditions informally set by the unit of analysis as dictated by the needs. Rules and regulations are the legal guidelines that you must follow in the course of the design. The main end of this exercise is to have a systematic presentation of all these requirements to later on be translated in into schemes and plans. For the purpose of the thesis, you are to stick to the minimum requirements. However, should the project need to provide areas for expansion, let this be stated and taken into account. a. BEHAVIORAL ANALYSIS As your thesis will cater to its users, more than anyone else, it is but rightful to take a look into their activities as well as their operations if they move in an organization. The visiting public would also share an ear with the analysis. In this part, you will enumerate the main departments or units and how they relate to each other. This will give you and your readers an idea how a certain department works and interrelate with each other. In doing so, you will find yourself identifying which units are active, thus requiring an active space, and which are not. You have to indicate the magnitude and level of sensitivity of service to adequately and effectively provide a space for them, afterwards. Analyzing the schedule of the activities would also be helpful. Should your thesis focus on the behavior of the users as its main thrust, you should expand this part and have a thorough and in depth output. You may not only be dealing with the activities of the users for the time being but would most probably extend your analysis to the culture of these people. Moreover, this would entail a comparative analysis of your users’ behavior with that of other paradigms. Again, this is an analysis and so you would not just list the activities and presto! You’re done with it! Apart from identifying the activities and behavior of your users, whether individual or group, you are to give your readers a hint of why you’re discussing these things. How will these affect the overall concept of your thesis? In what way can these behaviors be a tool in designing an effective working
  • 39. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 39 environment? Do you need to apply your knowledge in space engineering? You watch and see. b. INTERRELATIONSHIP ANALYSIS This is the simplest part of space programming-- but not quite. If you think that doing matrices and bubble diagrams would be too easy for you to do, well unfortunately, they’re not. Although such graphical instruments help facilitate the organization of spaces, they may be too flexible and so you’ll have the tendency to overlook at the appropriate circulation. To avoid this, it is recommended that you have to go further and create alternative schemes or bubbles (variations of your design) and even zoning (based on the result of matrices) with circulation diagrams of various types of users. The results of your case studies would probably be applied here. Again, you are encouraged to draw various schemes to present probable solutions- and it will not stop there. You have to orient your readers of the variances and indicate the advantages and disadvantages of each scheme so that you would not have the difficulty of explaining the design of your choice when later on tested against the concepts. Remember to include the services and utilities. There are different methods in programming spaces. It can be a matrix which allocates specific variable depending on the activity e.g. pivotal and then coming up with the area. You may also use basic standards from the National Building Code or other building standards and multiply these with the number of users. Another way is to layout a scheme containing the furniture, spaces and circulation (of course in scale). This may be most helpful for rooms requiring specific furniture as in hospitals, laboratories, factories and the like. c. QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS This has been proven as one of the most effective, if not the most effective way of programming spaces. It is a two-fold analysis, which initially caters to the qualities of the project, and later on translated to be a quantitative one. Let us first deal with the first one. Qualitative analysis, as the term suggests is an analysis pertinent to the QUALITIES of your proposal which will inevitably become bases for the design. This would have to do with five major concerns namely: (1) Establishing GOALS, (2) Collecting and Analyzing FACTS, (3) Uncovering and Testing CONCEPTS, (4) Determining NEEDS and (5) Stating the PROBLEMS. All these concerns will have to be interacted with four (4) considerations: FUNCTION, FORM, ECONOMY, and TIME. You may notice that this programming method includes the basic steps in design or what you familiarly know as DESIGN PROCESS. You’re right! You will have to use the objectives in chapter 1 (goals), the data (facts) you have gathered in chapter 2, and the proposed ideas (concepts) you have in the next chapter to do this. Like the interrelationship analysis, this analysis also comes in matrix form. Therefore, it can be interchanged so as to fit the desired program. Provided with this manual is a sample table with possible issues for each concern. You may consult the book Problem Seeking by Pena to further understand this discussion.
  • 40. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 40 d. QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS Like any other data, a qualitative input would have to be translated into a more perceptible program to be understood and later be translated into a plan. This is what a quantitative analysis does. It translates the qualitative matrix you did to a more tangible thing. That’s right, the word is TANGIBLE. While the qualitative speaks of the abstract, the quantitative talks of the more realizable output- something which can be grasped by the readers at once. You may ask: why then can’t you go directly with the quantitative? The answer is simple. Because all the inputs in this section will be taken from the Qualitative analysis. Remember, you will only TRANSLATE on a quantitative evaluation. What then would be the content of this part? You will be enumerating the areas which you think will be needed by your proposal (again, based on the qualitative analysis). These are general areas which can be specifically named in various terms, depending upon the function it will perform. Example, when you’re dealing with schools, you may want to call a classroom, a laboratory and a drawing room under a single heading, say learning areas. This way, you can generalize the function of the space you are providing. But you have to identify all these rooms as well since you will be determining the required number in the end. Yes, you read it right! NUMBERS. Quantitative analysis involves quantities, figures, numbers, numerals and therefore computations. This will contain the mathematical computations for your project. From the most basic computation of space areas to CONSTRUCTION COSTS, OPERATION COSTS, LIFE CYCLE COSTS, MAINTENANCE COSTS, etc. Perhaps, you could also deal with the analysis of the COSTING and RETURN OF INVESTMENT through concepts on funding and its possible revenue schemes.
  • 41. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 41 chapter 5. SYNTHESIS You’re almost done! This is the phase where you summarize all that has been done in the book. You may have to go back to your objectives and see if you were able to meet them or restructure your concepts so that your readers will have a clearer vision of what you plan to do in your Design 10 (knock on wood!). This chapter will be your LINK to your translation in your bid for an architectural degree. How about that for a push?! The discussions to follow may not be new to you for you have been doing this for the past four, five, or more so years in your stay in the institute. These are the basic contents of your concept board. Something you should have known now by heart. a. DESIGN PHILOSOPHY Sure, you have established the theories and the concepts you’ll need for your proposal, but it wouldn’t be enough to just have them and let loose of the unifying thing in work. Philosophies do this. These are the bases of your ideas for the proposal, a guiding dictum which gels your proposed work into one, single composition. There are two types of philosophy. One, coming from a person, living or not, who may have studied the same topics you’re dealing with and defined ideas appropriate for your study. Thus, you have to quote them and tell your readers so. And two, it may be YOUR OWN notions for the project. Yes, you can be a philosopher, why not? And so, you are able to conceive your own thoughts especially if you were the one who proposed the study. CAUTION: You may be tempted to use philosophies you already have used for your design plates when you were in your lower years. Why not? But see to it that it would be applicable for your project you’re doing. Philosophies are NOT FIXED. On the contrary, they should be FLEXIBLE. Meaning, they must bend to where they should go and reflect the design you would like to have for your project, and vice versa. AND you must understand them! “Form follows function” may be a cute cliché but WAKE UP! You CANNOT use it all the time. Dictums of well-known architects (refer to your Theory of Architectural Design 02) will be a great deal of help for you in doing this part of your thesis. b. DESIGN GOALS and OBJECTIVES Nope, you are not going back to your chapter 1 and rewrite the objectives and goals you have written there, though this may be your take-off point. You could base your design objectives from the objectives of your thesis. But take note that these are DESIGN goals and objectives – different from the goals and objectives of your STUDY. The things you’ll present here are the ones relative to your probable DESIGN. What do you wish to do with your structures? How would you like the systems to go? What would you like to achieve at the end of your translation? Hey, wait! These do not only pertain to the possible appearance of the structures but the overall objectives of the design as well. In other words, these are more FOCUSED on the DESIGN aspects of your project. See, perhaps you now realize that there REALLY IS a difference after all.
  • 42. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 42 c. DESIGN CONCEPTS Concepts are thoughts concerning the way several elements or characteristics can be combined into a SINGLE THING. In architecture, a concept also identifies how various aspects of the requirements for a building can be brought together in a SPECIFIC thought that DIRECTLY influences the DESIGN and its CONFIGURATION. This only means that the concepts you will be providing will somehow wrap up the totality of your design program. Do you still remember the discussion in the framework? While that framework will be your THRUST, the Design Concepts will be the BACKBONE of the ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN. And they should go hand in hand to effectively work together – the framework and the concepts. This may be simple for you to understand if you were getting high grades in your concept boards in your past design subjects. If not, here’s a review of your design concepts. Basically there are five (5) types of concepts in architecture. See if you can still remember them: 1. Analogy (looking at other things) Here you identify possible, literal relationships between things. You tend to look for a desirable characteristic of an object and make this as the model for your project. 2. Metaphors and Simile This type of concept also identifies relationships between things. However, the relationships are abstract rather than literal. You may have to establish certain patterns of parallel relationships. 3. Essences The whole program that you have for your thesis, complicated as it is, is explained in terms of terse, explicit statements. It has to connote insights, meaning, and your personal accounts for the project. Most of the time, this comes with a conceptual scenario- a short essay that tie together all the important factors and ideas that influenced the design solution. It may also be something which discovers the roots of the issues. 4. Programmatic This is what you have been doing all the while in your lower design subjects, where you write the problems, come up with the objectives, state your philosophies and come up with a concept at the end. In that way you directly respond to the stated requirements. 5. Ideals Here you look at the universality of the concept. You view the project as a universal one – something which will be a universal solution for even a general problem So, how well did you fare in remembering them? You don’t have to use all five at the same time. You just have to choose which of them fits your thesis.
  • 43. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 43 d. DESIGN PARAMETERS All done! All you need to do now is check the existing standards applicable to your thesis for translation. These will comprise your design parameters. You may also want to call these as Design CONSIDERATIONS. And as the term conveys, you are to state the things you would have to consider in doing your design. This applies both to the structures and its immediate environment (both the micro and the macro). You may have to be guided with legal documents and follow pertinent laws to do this. Building Orientation, Circulation, Security, Accessibility, and Economy may be the factors you would be looking at here. But it would not just end in writing these headings. It would involve an explanation along with a long list of the laws, rules and orders governing such considerations. Yes, you’re right again! This part will be your DESIGN GUIDELINES which will tell your readers as well the restrictions for your project. Having established the guidelines would only mean you’re ready to go to your drawing board and translate this book into ARCHITECTURAL PLANS.
  • 44. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 44 chapter 6. TRANSLATION Don’t get too excited. You may have to wait for the next semester to see the contents of the discussion on this. So good luck! Aim to do chapter 6. You know what we mean. ☺
  • 45. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 45 GUIDELINES FOR THE THESIS BOOK • THEME For this academic year, the theme for the thesis shall be FILIPINO ARCHITECTURE IN RESPONSE TO THE GLOBAL SCENARIO. The student-proponent shall have to come up with a thesis which will embody concepts and design solutions that are locally feasible and globally competitive. • RESEARCH TOPICS The student can choose any three (3) from the given list of research topics. These topics should provide adequate foundation for the title/proposal. 1. THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT a. Green Architecture b. Tropical Design c. Sick Building Syndrome d. Architecture in Response to Natural Phenomena 2. THE HUMAN ENVIRONMENT a. Anthropometrics b. Ergonomics c. Proxemics d. Environment-Behavior Studies 3. THE SOCIAL IMPLICATIONS OF ARCHITECTURE a. Historical Preservation b. Urban Renewal c. Social Engineering d. Filipino Architecture 4. THEORIES OF ARCHITECTURE a. Psychological Effects of Spaces b. Principles of Scale and Proportion c. Design of Interior Environments d. Theories of Territoriality and Defensible Spaces 5. ARCHITECTURAL TECHNOLOGY a. “Intelligent” Building Design b. Indigenous Technology c. Architectural Innovations d. Interior Architecture e. High-rise Structures • TIMETABLE FOR SUBMITTALS A schedule of submittals will be provided by the Thesis Advisers to guide the students in programming their activities with respect to given deadlines. • DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION A copy of the Final Draft of the Thesis Book shall be submitted not later than 5:00 in the afternoon, fourteen (14) days before the Finals Week of the first semester. Failure to submit the Book on time shall mean automatic disqualification for AR 541- 543D (Architectural Design X).
  • 46. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 46 • THESIS BOOK FORMAT Size of paper: A4 (29.7 x 21.0 cm) Orientation: Landscape Language: English Text Format: General 12 Times New Roman Subtitles 14 Times New Roman Bold Titles 16 Times New Roman Bold Margins: Left 2 ½ inches Right 2 inches Top 1 inch Bottom 1 inch • THESIS COVER FORMAT A uniform pattern for the cover of the Thesis Book must be followed. The cover shall also be in landscape format using the text font and sizes as indicated in Figure – If the academic year ends in an even numbered year, the cover shall be white with maroon letters. Thesis books submitted in even numbered years, on the other hand, shall have maroon cover with silver letters. GUIDELINES FOR ORAL DEFENSE OF THESIS BOOK • SCHEDULE OF DEFENSE The Final Draft of the Thesis Book shall be defended one week before the Finals Week for the first semester. A Schedule of Thesis Book Defense will be distributed to the Thesis Classes a week before the first presentation. A copy of the Schedule will also be posted on a visually accessible bulletin board. This shall be done to inform the students of their individual schedule and give them adequate time to prepare for their Defense. The proponent should come 30 minutes before his/her schedule to defend. Those who will come 30 minutes after their schedule shall not be allowed to defend anymore, and, therefore shall get a failing grade for the Defense. • MANNER OF DEFENSE The Thesis Book shall be presented by the proponent in front of a Panel of Jurors using MS PowerPoint. A compact disk containing the presentation shall be submitted after the deliberation. Each student shall be given 15 minutes to present the Book. Questions coming from the Jurors may be answered in another 15 minutes. After which the Jurors shall assess the merits of the Book and give their grade for the Defense. A member of the Thesis Council shall compute the grade. If there are recommendations, these shall be read by the Adviser who shall also announce whether the Proponent passed or failed the Oral Defense. The Jury grade shall comprise 60% of the student’s final grade for the book while the Adviser shall give the remaining 40%, which will come from the performance
  • 47. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 47 and submittals of the student during the course subject. Since the grade for the book comprises 75% of the grade in Ar 551-553D, a failing grade in the Book Defense will certainly mean automatic disqualification for the next Architectural Design subject which is Ar 541-542D. • PANEL OF JURORS A panel of jurors composed of faculty members from the Department of Architecture shall deliberate on the merits of the Book. The Panel of Jurors shall be composed of not more than three architects from the Department of Architecture. The Thesis Council, being the regulating body in this procedure, is excluded from sitting as members of the panel. The jurors shall be selected so that the schedule of defense will not be in conflict with the schedule of their classes and other co-curricular activities. Knowledge and/or exposure to the respective research topics will be the primary criteria for the selection of Jury members. • DELIBERATIONS GRADING SYSTEM The Jury’s grade will be based upon a set of criteria which was previously presented and agreed upon by the Thesis Class. This grade will represent 60% of the student’s final grade for the book. Therefore, a failing grade for the book shall also mean failure in Ar 551-553D and disqualification from the next Architectural Design subject which is Ar 541-543D. The grade for the Oral Defense shall be based on the following criteria: Content 60% Presentation Oral 20% Graphical 20% 100% • DRESS CODE The proponents are strictly required to wear the prescribed school uniform including his/her identification card during the Book Defense. • FEES Each student shall pay the amount of five hundred pesos (P 500.00) at the Dean’s Office for the deliberation of the Book. This amount is broken down into two scheduled payments: P 250.00 – before the Proposal Clarification P 250.00 – one week before the Book Oral Defense
  • 48. Architecture Thesis Manual EMCVillanueva.GRLajom 48 GUIDELINES FOR SITE DEVELOPMENT COST From Problem Seeking by William Pena 1. SITE PREPARATION Estimate 1% to 3% of building cost 2. PARKING Refer to required ratio to get number of parking slots. Estimate per slot. 3. ROADWAYS Estimate per linear meter 4. SIDEWALKS AND TERRACES Estimate 1% to 7% of building cost 5. WALLS AND SCREENS Estimate .5% to 2.5% of building cost 6. OUTDOOR SPORTS FACILITIES Estimate lump sum per unit per type 7. ON-SITE UTILITIES Estimate 1% to 3% of building cost 8. OFF-SITE UTILITIES Estimate 3% to 5% of building cost 9. STORM DRAINAGE Estimate .5% to 2.5% of building cost 10. LANDSCAPING Estimate 1% to 2% of building cost 11. OUTDOOR EQUIPMENT Estimate lump sum 12. OUTDOOR LIGHTING Estimate pedestrian lighting 1% of building cost; parking lighting lump sum per car

Syracuse University Libraries

Architecture: Thesis Preparation

  • King + King Architecture Library
  • Reference Tools
  • Architectural Periodicals
  • Architectural Working Drawings
  • SoA Suggested Reading List
  • Special Collections
  • Architectural Journalism
  • Architectural Theory
  • Architecture Related Exhibitions
  • Campus Architecture
  • Careers in Architecture
  • General Web Resources
  • Historic Preservation
  • Image Resources
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Local Architecture
  • Open Access
  • Site Documentation
  • Urban Studies
  • American Architectural Resources
  • Architectural Design
  • Architectural History
  • Architectural Technology
  • Architecture and Sustainability
  • Building Types
  • M.S. in Architecture - Interdisciplinary Resources
  • Legal, Statistical, Technical and Other Considerations
  • Pattern Books
  • Research Databases
  • Research Strategies
  • Resources for the NYC Architecture Program
  • Theory Research
  • Thesis Preparation
  • Collection Information Including Recently Acquired Resources
  • Architectural Design & Technology Online
  • Architectural History Online
  • Faculty Picks
  • Graphic Novels
  • Introduction

In an article in the July 24 1974 issue of Architect's Journal, Jeremy Baker talks about the student thesis as a way of providing students with "greater awareness of the world." Library research can help to provide the framework as well as set the boundaries for the design project.  Good research techniques can make the process both expedient and enjoyable.

Writing Your Thesis

Cover Art

Guidelines for starting your thesis, courtesy of UC Berkeley


Thesis Organization

  • Objectives, Scope and Limitations
  • Description of the research
  • Conclusions/Summary of the work
  • List of Case studies
  • List of references/literature case studies for thesis research work
  • Identification of the project site

Harvard Guide to Using Sources

Harvard Guide to Using Sources : The Harvard Guide to Using Sources is an easily accessible introductory guide to use of sources. It includes tips for students on finding, choosing, and integrating reliable sources into academic writing. The Guide provides examples of MLA, APA, and Chicago styles of citation and includes information on avoiding plagiarism.

Past Thesis and Thesis Prep Books

The Libraries maintains online documentation of past Super Jury award winners and other theses receiving a B+ or better grade.  They are available on  SURFACE , the Syracuse University database of scholarly works, by searching for "School of Architecture Theses."

Click Here  for an easy link to the list of available theses.

General Guidelines

Familiarize yourself with your topic.

Be sure you are able to answer the following questions before beginning your research:  Take a journalistic approach to gathering information. Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? ​

Gather background information  about your topic using reference sources.

Reference books provide important information on a topic, include specific details, and point to other useful sources of information. They point the way into the core literature of a topic contained in books, journals, reports, and many other types of publications. They can also summarize, digest, or review the literature on a topic in ways that save you time and energy. Knowing the reference sources in your discipline can increase the efficiency of your searches by enabling you to better focus your questions.

The Search Plan

Define the topic.

Determine the component parts.  If the topic is fairly broad, start with the narrowest concept.  If your topic is very narrow, begin your research using broad terms.

Gear your searching to the resource.  For example, when searching subject specific periodical databases, use terms the least common to the discipline.

Review your results and refine your search as necessary.  Broaden the terms if you need more information. Narrow the terms to limit the amount of information retrieved.

Synthesize the information.  Determine if and what additional information is needed.

Actively seek out alternative views  as a way of testing your theory.

Begin your research in the architectural literature.

Search Strategies

Familiarize yourself with your topic before beginning your research.  This will save time later. This includes determining the appropriate search terms to use. Include synonyms and related terms.

Modify your search as necessary , including searching related resources or additional databases not as closely linked to your subject. These sources may include relevant information.

Know the nature and parameters of the reference tool(s) you are searching.  Certain reference works only cover particular time periods or may not be comprehensive in scope. For instance, most online databases begin their coverage in the 1970s-80s.

Make the fullest use possible of reference tools , including bibliographies and footnotes which can lead you to other sources.

Read the source carefully . Note organizational differences between tools.

Library Services

Off-desk Consultations

Students are encouraged to make appointments with  Barbara Opar  and/or other subject librarians as appropriate.  You may contact Barbara by email at  [email protected]  or at 443-3518 (King + King Architecture Library) preferably, 443-2905 (452 Bird Library). For assistance in other subject areas see the following list of  subject specialists .

Special orders

The Library may be able to order new architecture books or other materials to assist you. If you have specific requests, contact Barbara.

Extended loan period

Thesis and thesis prep. students are given graduate status in terms of library circulation privileges. Stack books circulate for one year. See Barbara for details or special requests.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

ILL obtains materials (books, periodical articles) not available within the Syracuse Libraries system. ILL requests may be submitted online using the appropriate form found online at  Interlibrary Loan .  Periodical articles will be made available electronically. Books will be delivered to Bird Library or Carnegie Library. Thesis Prep, thesis and graduate students are eligible for delivery of most materials directly to the King + King Architecture Library. Services are free of charge. To submit a book request, it is suggested that you use WorldCat to locate the citation. To submit a periodical article request, it is suggested that you use the SU links tab on the specific database citation page.

Delivery Service

Thesis students are eligible to have circulating books from Bird, Carnegie and Interlibrary Loan delivered to King + King Architecture Library. Prior sign up is required. See Barbara for details.

Sample thesis prep books

Select (B+ and above) books are available through the Library's institutional repository,  SURFACE .

Citation guidance

RefWorks (Databases tab) is one of the many sources available for proper formatting of your bibliography and notes.

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The Ultimate Architecture Thesis Guide | Online Course

architecture thesis manual

- How to choose Right Topic - Site Selection, Analysis, Research Methodology - Preparing a Design Brief from Scratch - How to think of a Concept - Preparing Sheets & Facing the Jury - Managing Time & Budget

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architecture thesis manual

Course Content: The Ultimate Architecture Thesis Guide

Lessons list, unit 1 introduction.

Episode 1.1 Introduction to Course

Unit 2 Choosing the Right Topic

Episode 2.1 Purpose of your Thesis Episode 2.2 Available resources for Thesis Topics Episode 2.3 Narrow down to Topic Episode 2.4 Prepare for Proposal

Unit 3 Site Selection

Episode 3.1 Narrowing down to the Site Episode 3.2 Site Analysis Episode 3.3 Site Mapping and Site Drawing

Unit 4 Research Methodology

Episode 4.1 Choosing a Research Strategy Episode 4.2 Techniques of Data Collection Episode 4.3 Interviews & Questionnaires Episode 4.4 Data Analysis & Result Interpretation

Unit 5 Everything about Case Studies

Episode 5.1 How to choose a Case Study Episode 5.2 Study of Context Episode 5.3 Climate & Site Planning Episode 5.4 Working Plans & Sections Episode 5.5 Circulation, Services & Design Details

Unit 6 Preparing Your Design Brief

Episode 6.1 Prepare Requirement Chart Episode 6.2 Area Program Episode 6.3 Bye-laws & University Guidelines

Unit 7 Designing Your Concept

Episode 7.1 Concept Design

Unit 8 Design Development

Episode 8.1 Zoning, Layouts & Sheets Episode 8.2 Structure & Utilities Episode 8.3 Details and Site Development Episode 8.4 Drawing Set of your thesis Episode 8.5 Unique Proposals

Unit 9 Preparing Thesis Presentation

Episode 9.1 Presentation – Organising and Quantifying Episode 9.2 Graphics & Uniqueness Episode 9.3 Prints, Budget & Time Management

Unit 10 Facing the Jury

Episode 10.1 Presentation and facing the Questions Episode 10.2 Jury Presentation

Unit 11 Analyzing a Sample Thesis Project

Episode 11.1 Analyzing A Sample Thesis Project – Design Based Episode 11.2 Analyzing A Sample Thesis Project – Research Based

Unit 12 Preparing Thesis Report

Episode 12.1 Preparing a Report Episode 13.1 Conclusion

Additional Resources

Resource 1 Colors to choose for Thesis Presentation Resource 2 Fonts to use in your Thesis Resource 3 List of Thesis Topics Resource 4 Checklist for your thesis work Resource 5 Mistakes to Avoid in your Thesis Resource 6 Tips for an online Thesis Jury Resource 7 Photoshop shortcuts to improve your speed Resource 8 Sample Questionnaire for Thesis Research Resource 9 Reference Thesis Projects Resource 10 Resources for Thesis Report Resource 11 Sample Thesis Project Sheets | Design Based Resource 12 Sample Thesis Project Sheets | Research Based Resource 13 Time Management Tips for Thesis Resource 14 Relevant Articles to read for Thesis

35 Episodes - we've covered everything you'll need for your Architecture Thesis

Learn about everything from topic selection to having the right mindset to managing your time, design development, composing your sheets and even printing them and acing your jury presentation.

architecture thesis manual

Not sure how to finalize your Thesis Topic? or having trouble with Presentation Sheets or Facing the Jury? Worry Not!

This course will walk you through every step of a design thesis, and tell you in detail how to go about it. right from choosing your topic, to design development, and delivering a good presentation when you face your jury, we have everything covered for you. 450+ thesis topics list with 15 additional resources, preview: introduction to course, what to expect from an eduwik course.


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A lot of people feel like they could’ve done things differently. Or if only they had planned better- they would have managed to make it the perfect submission. But we don't want you to have these regrets!

Still wondering whether this is the right course for you, please check all boxes, where your answer is yes, are you having trouble with finalizing your topic, are you facing issues in finalyzing your thesis site, do you wish to ace your thesis, not sure which case study to choose, not sure where to find the relevant resources, not sure which research strategy to choose, facing problem in defining your project brief, having trouble in arriving at concept for your thesis, facing issue sin design development stage, don’t know how to compose sheets, don’t know how to present in front of jury, don’t know how to save money while preparing for your thesis, if you've checked any of these boxes, then this ultimate thesis guide will greatly help you.

MLA Thesis Guidelines

Mla independent thesis.

Landscape Architecture students are not required to complete an independent thesis. The thesis project is an opportunity for students to pursue a design project that they have researched and developed independently. Landscape students interested in pursuing thesis declare the thesis track in May prior to their final fall semester. MLA students who declare thesis will be required to enroll in Thesis Prep seminar (ADV-9341; 4-units) in the fall of their final year.

The Independent Design Thesis track (ADV-9341; 4-units, ADV-9342; 8-units) is a full-year commitment and carries a total of 12-units.

Candidates pursuing a thesis in the spring must complete an option studio offered by the Department of Landscape Architecture (1400-level option studio) in addition to the Thesis Prep seminar in their final fall term.

MLA Thesis Manual 2022-2023 MLA Thesis Manual Appendix I – Readings MLA Thesis Manual Appendix II – Archiving Guidelines MLA Thesis Manual Appendix III – Sample Permissions Statement MLA Thesis Manual Appendix IV – PDF Creation Examples

MLA students entering their final year who wish to submit a binding declaration to the one-year thesis track must do so by Thursday, May 25 at 5:00 pm ET. Please contact Program Coordinator Tiffany Yee for more information.

MLA Thesis Declaration Form 2023-2024

Selected MLA theses are available through HOLLIS (Harvard Library) or in hard copy in the Loeb Design Library.

For current thesis students, all final PDF theses must be submitted to the Thesis Director and Program Coordinator no later than 9:00 AM (ET) on May 15th, 2023. The Department reserves the right to withhold student grades until thesis materials are submitted .


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