Architectural thesis is the most critical semester of a student's life as it becomes the face of her/his portfolio once she/he completes the course. It is the first major project a student will complete individually before becoming a professional. It is essential for a student to select an interesting topic for the thesis which is also relevant in today's time. Selection of thesis topic is a tricky affair for the student as they would want to the topic to be interesting but at the same time they would also want to take up something that may be called 'Safe Topic'. If we check list of thesis topic selected by students in Design schools across India, We will find that most of the topics are of a similar nature (and also they are the ones done by students in 1970s as well). This article outlines 5 thesis topics which are very much relevant in 2021 and also provide enough freedom to students to explore their design design ideas.
1. National Data Centre
As we are moving in the age of surveillance, the state will eventually need to store massive amount of data and also will have to develop ability to process them for various reasons. There is a need to take this up as an Architectural challenge as such centre needs to be built with precision planning and have spatial requirements which are very much unique to them.
These centres produces constant sound of a specific frequency which is proven to be harmful for human health under various medical studies. Hence their location and their built envelope needs to be design with utmost care. There are very few such projects built in India and there is a scope of meaningful architectural intervention. Student can break away from conventional design strategies and can play with materials as well as design aesthetics.
2. Museum of Indian Democracy
Museums are perhaps one of the oldest thesis design topics in architectural education and they are like the ageing wine. They have always even relevant and they give immense opportunist to the students for design exploration. One of the unexplored topic for the museum typology is a museum dedicated to democracy in India. Mature Democracies like Australia, United States already have such institutions.
Indian democracy has survived through some of the unfathomable challenges in last 7 decades and has proven itself to be extremely resilient against all the odds. There is a need to make the population aware about the values and struggles of Indian democracy . In today’s time when there is a raging debate about the civilian rights all over the world, there is a greater need now to make people aware about the essence of democratic rule.
Such museum can alway become a national symbol and foregrounds of such institution can be used for democratic coygegrations! Students selecting this topic gets an opportunity to work on an iconic architecture and also can explore ‘how architecture can represent ideas like democracy’
3. Prime Minister’s Museum, India
This one is a government proposal which also gives great opportunities for design explorations to students. As per the new government proposal a comprehensive museum
For all prime ministers is planned in New Delhi.
Prime Minister, as a position is of great significance as its the position which leads the Indian democracy with people’s mandate. The occupant of that position leaves a long lasting impact on the Nation’s future and on people’s lives. It is essential that people gets to know more about the people who lead this nation. All the mature democracies gives opportunity to their people to know their elected leaders in a transparent and direct manner and as India grows on to become a resilient republic, present as well as the future generation would want to know and understand their leaders. Such a project not just holds a great design challenge but also a challenge as to how built envelop can represent the life and ideas of a person who was mandated by a nation to lead them! Personification of Architecture is one of the most intriguing and challenging part of building design
The project, which will have exhibits of the lives of all Prime Ministers, is under construction at present, still as an academic exercise, this one has lot of potential for students to give their own creative proposals for such iconic project of national importance. The state’s project is proposed in the premise of Teen Murti Bhavan which is already a site for Late Jawahar Lal Nehru’s memorial who was the first Prime Minister of India.
4. HyperLoop Station
If hyper loop technology succeeds, It is going to change surface transportation forever for good. This is a new technology which is under research and development in various parts of the world, Mumbai-Pune route is one which is under planning stage in India.
Since many decades, students have taken challenges in transportation sector like metro station, airpots, and train stations which are all conventional design problems with firm design and technological guidelines. Hyperloop presents a fresh challenge for students as it is a concept which is still under development and hence spatial development as well as design aesthetics will have to be as new and revolutionary as the technology itself. This is one of the design challenges which is for those creative minds who are seeking to address new challenges and who wishes to design their own design language.
5. The 'SpacePort'
The space was called the final frontier and we are entering an era when space travel is going to be a reality for everyone (who can afford ). The recent civilian flights by Virgin Galactic & SpaceX proves that in the near future, space travel is going to be a busy field.
Till date, we have a very distinct image for the space vehicle launch whether its Huston in US or Sri Harikota in India, but that is surely going to change as more and more private space flights take off from earth. Just like the airports, we may soon need a new typology called Spaceport which facilitates the space travel. This is a unique design challenges for students to explore their creativity and come up with design solution which are unique and which doesn’t need to follow the existing conventions!
These are the 5 thesis topics which presents unique design challenge to students and are very much diverse in nature. They give enough freedom to students in terms of their design stand and gives them an opportunity to design a thesis which is relevant to their times.