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Posted by  Jim on August 12, 2003 at 08:43:47:

In Reply to:  FINAL THESIS IDEAS posted by alleycat on August 11, 2003 at 13:38:52:

How sad that so many college kids are coming here to get ideas for a thesis. The idea for one should easily spring to mind after YEARS of study in the subject. Architecture is about the problems of making structure meet the needs of mankind, and if one throws in all the many different artistic concerns, he is confronted with a vast multitude of topics. If some idiot professor limits a student's choice to 'air head' topics such as 'undersea strutures for the poor' or 'cable suspended cities of the future' or 'buildings where one can watch being watched, something to do with theatre and music,' then we cannot blame the student too much.

Too often American architecture schools have become 'ivory tower' monuments to academia, and are loosing relevance to the marketplace for actual, practical buildings that people will buy. This bias to the "etheral" and theoretical can damage the nascent careers of the would-be architects in their classes. Encouraging students to "think outside of the envelope" of practicality and to view their designs of buildings as 'sculpture' can mislead the students into a false idea of what architecture is all about. It is FIRST and PRIMARILY a business, and a solid foundation in business practice and business law is mandatory for a successful student (of what purpose is a non-successful architecture student?!). So, for those of you mislead by air-head theorists (frustrated architects who didn't make it) in the guise of concerned professors, I have only sympathy, but if you have to ask a thesis question as vague as this one, then you should know by now that you don't belong in architecture. It is not just a job that can make you a lot of money (for the minority of architects!) and still keep your hands clean, it requires a PASSION for design coupled with a DISCIPLINE to constantly learn the minutiae of the nuts and bolts of the profession and the MATURITY to accept its constant frustrations.

Sadly, we in the industrialized world feel that evey child MUST have a college education in one of the professions to succeed (read: 'make LOTS of money!') in order to succeed in life. Some then say that the profession to choose is architecture, since it is noble, without being the "hard study" that is law or medicine, for example. This leaves us with many thousands of high school students entering colleges as architecture students thinking that there is not that much to learn and that they will quickly graduate with the assurance of making lots of money with little effort. How sad, for nothing could be further from the truth. Many of those in arch. school should be contractors, artisans, or interior decorators, all noble professions, but without the particular intellectual straining that is necessary to succeed in architecture, as opposed to mere building/developing which are money-based enterprises, in the long run. You have trouble understanding or thinking-up a thesis? Quickly switch to another field of study before you find out too late that your niche is not in the arts.

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