About the Project

We were burned out over star lecture series. We were distressed that architecture students rarely have the opportunity for discourse with students at other schools. For these reasons and more, we organized a forum series in the fall of 2000 with recent architecture graduates from all over the country to ask the question: what is the educational value of the design thesis? REBOOT: Rethinking the Design Thesis is an outgrowth of these events.


This project includes interviews and presentations by a small group of recent architecture graduates from Cooper Union, Notre Dame, Penn State, Sci Arc, and Yale. Graduates from these architecture schools were selected because their programs represent a wide range of ideological and methodological approaches to the architectural design thesis at the undergraduate and/or graduate levels. The unique perspectives of these graduates allow an understanding of the value of school culture, the personal challenges of research and learning, and deeper insights into the creative design process. As architecture schools around the country attempt to rethink the design thesis, we also hope these insights will assist the process of reform.



The Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts
The Pennsylvania State University College of Arts and Architecture
The Pennsylvania State University Department of Architecture



Thank you to the architecture graduates who presented their design thesis work at Penn State and agreed to be interviewed for this project. Many thanks also to Patrick Besong, research Programmer at The Penn State Faculty Multimedia Center, for his technical assistance.


Project Team

Christine Gorby, Project Director; Hua Xie, Web Design; Christopher Renn, video Editing; Jennifer Reese, video Editing and Transcripts.

< a brief history of the design thesis