Advisors: Hannibal Newsom, Kiana Memaran Dadgar

We will use the art of juxtaposition to develop strange positions – positions which shock us out of complacency, undermine our everyday view of things, question our received reality, and imagine alternatives. We will do this by introducing narrative elements into architectural research to form critical positions toward contemporary issues. The potential for narrative to capture our imagination, and hold our attention, we view as a primary strength of a thesis project. Both Architecture and Literature are arts of world-building, and the infusion of literary elements into architectural thinking frees architecture to exist beyond a single edifice in a single, specific context, and to exert its impact on a broader audience. This physical, tangible world, with its imperfections and complications may be our given reality, but by questioning its limitations we may uncover new means with which to address or engage existing problems.

For inspiration we will investigate Magical Realism, a literary genre known for its paradoxical elements, strange juxtapositions, and often ‘impossible’ scenarios that ‘infuse the ordinary with a sense of mystery.’ Despite these marvelous eccentricities, Magical Realist works are grounded in precise, detailed, situation and historical contexts. They rely on the juxtaposition of the real and the imaginary to criticize the power structures of the real. It is destabilizing, disjunctive, eclectic, exuberant, and allows us to venture beyond the constraints of our reality toward the sublime and the uncanny.

We will study techniques of Magical Realism in painting, literature, and film to discover the ways in which they render the invisible visible in order to criticize structures of power. We will explore the power of strange juxtapositions as we research, diagram, collage, render, design, write, or otherwise craft narratives that present precise, critical points of view relative to a specific contemporary issue, whether political, cultural, environmental, or any combination of the above.

Specific areas of research and inquiry we leave to student discretion – the topic is up to you. As is the outcome of your thesis, whether constructible, speculative, imaginary or ‘real.’ As an advisory group we will guide you in the development of focused inquiry, thorough research, detailed contextual analysis, and provocative architectural speculation.

MONDAY, MAY 1, 9:30 am - 5 pm, roomS 104 & 325

Internal Critics: Chua, Miller, Linder, Corso, Pearson

9:30 AM Tanvi Ashok Reddy
(Slocum 325)
10:00 AM Georgia Currie & Lauren Reichelt
(Wall outside Slocum 202)
10:30 AM Tony Lamont Fitzgerald Jr.
The New Acoustic
11:00 AM Rena Okamoto
Property Of
1:30 PM Kexin Wendy Wang & Zhexu Yang
2:00 PM Wilcox Hallahan
The Post-truth Ecosystem
2:30 PM Jessica Michelle Rithika Anand
Speculative Societies
3:00 PM Wenting Feng & Nuo Lyu
Dissolution of Living Space
3:30 PM Muwen Li
Collective Joy | Collective Misery