The second year of the Master of Architecture at WSA is organised around the design thesis as a student-led and research-led design proposition. Within a framework of ten design units, each of which setting out their own architectural agenda, each student is encouraged to explore an independent stance, proclaiming and defending an architectural position. As well as the design thesis, the student’s architectural position is informed by a written dissertation and studies in the 'Practice, Management and Economics' of architecture.
The design thesis begins with a research ‘primer’ as an individual or group study. Locating initial individual or group research within cultural, political, tectonic, environmental, historical, philosophical, or other approaches defined by the unit, students develop an individual thesis with a specific site, program, and research question emerging from the primer.
In 21-22, MArch two units began with primer research exploring a variety of local and international rural, urban, coastal, vacant, community-led, or in-between conditions. Primers tested handmade, digital modelling, and drawing techniques engaged with policy, communities, live projects, critique's readings, theory, and precedent. As the individual theses emerged, year-wide practice and technology talks and workshops supported with topics as varied as mental health, low carbon strategies, sustainable urban drainage, landscape, public life, digital conservation tools, timber, air quality, computing craft, and architectural agency.
The 21-22 MArch two theses demonstrate commitments to sustainable, equitable, generous, and thoughtful ways of approaching architecture - exploring independent critical positions and speculations which align to WSA’s ethos of grounded creativity and the collective pursuit of an ethical position towards architectural practice.
Professor Mhairi McVicar, MArch Two Year Chair