MT: Culturally, I guess, as a norm, it has less to do with what research traditionally has been considered and more to do with architectural production, you know, and a way of finding a certain voice and, you know, being a profession which is architecture in a strange way. I think it has less to do with setting up a series of proofs and answering them. It has more to do with making a statement.


AM: Finding your own voice and ways of authoring the documents so that it is in some respects new and at the same time personal.


MT: It's not that it invalidates calling it research but I think it needs to be looked at a little bit...I think it is looked at differently than what any other educational or academic discipline would look at what research really is.


LF: You know, how you represent things is the thing itself. It's a full participant in the making, you know, of your project. And, you know, I guess all of first year was learning to see in a different way.


The minor decisions you make about graphics, about what views you choose to draw, about the materials that you use, you know, like this whole green theme that I have going on in my thesis, are really important factors and they really shape both how you perceive your project and how everybody else does.


CR: I think, you know, the drawings are architectural research just as much as anything you could do in a library, you know. And building models, investigating things physically, it may not be something that you can describe the results of you research as easily, but you're learning from it.


DM: When I think of research I think of defining it more narrowly, you know, going to the library and whatnot. But I think it has to do with context. It's like when I go to research an idea, for me, research is tracing the sort of history of that idea and finding out who hinted at it, you know, a hundred years ago and what someone else did with it and what people are doing with it now.


YE: So these five conditions which are waves, tides, currents, color, and light, and each one of these got an investigation to themselves in the field of oceanography or, and then they got treated as if or through the language of architecture - plans, sections, analytical drawings and understandings of those feelings. That's one thing that I call research. The other research is an investigation of what exists, of things that were attempted.


TS: Well, it depends on the project and for my project, my thesis project, the architectural research had to be with an investigation of physical geography.


YE: In Tao's case architecture is a human thing so there was a largely a political and social research which is the next layer of the architectural research.


TS: Yes, that's right.


JC: ...indirect research in that it doesn't necessarily lead directly to your project or it doesn't necessarily inform your projects in a specific way, but it becomes a background by which you...by which all your decisions become...are born from...


Whereas theoretical precedents - people who have written about the particular issue that you're in, you're involved in...


And then there are the formal kind of precedents, those which you feel...those kinds of buildings either that you feel embody a thesis or that are directly related to the kind of subject that you're interested in.


The other kind of precedents that you could have would be primary precedents, in other words, visiting some place and seeing how it works and seeing how it relates to the world.


The other kinds of research that we did or precedents that we looked at were precedents that were outside of the discipline. In Liz's case she was looking at furniture or things that were not necessarily designed by architects or things that did not necessarily come directly from architects but that could inform architecture.


The other kind of research that we looked at was direct and practical research. That's the thing that directly informs you about what your project is about. In this case I'm looking at Treasure Island which was my site in San Francisco.


You have to really listen to yourself and do what is going to sustain you. And that piece of advice doesn't work just for thesis. I mean it works very well for thesis because you have a yearlong project that you can't get sick of and you have to keep having the passion for it. And so, what do you do that allows you to have that passion, that allows you to keep getting at the essence of what it is you want to do?

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