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Graduate Thesis 2020 Commences with Revelatory Miniatures Presentations

On the weekend of July 8, SCI-Arc M.Arch 1 and 2 students convened to present their Graduate Thesis Miniatures projects. Miniatures marks the 2020 SCI-Arc Graduate Thesis program students’ tangible studies for future architecture proposals, featuring initial projects rendered in miniature form. Across two days packed with reviews, led by Graduate Thesis Coordinator Florencia Pita and Graduate Programs Chair Elena Manferdini, students delivered presentations of their in-progress thesis proposals to panels of SCI-Arc faculty, leadership, and distinguished invited guests.

miniature horse stall billboard red background
Miniature Model by Maximillian Maria Kochinke

Invited reviewers for this year’s Miniatures presentations included over 40 SCI-Arc alumni who joined to offer feedback to the current graduate thesis class on their projects. “We were so happy to see such a wonderful group of SCI-Arc alumni, who generously contributed their time and thoughts,” commented Pita. “For faculty it was great to see so many familiar faces; and for students, the fact that most of the guest critics had been in that exact same place some years ago made for fantastic conversations.”

Over the course of the summer semester, graduate students build upon their miniatures to realize their final thesis projects, which will be presented in September during Graduate Thesis Weekend. Graduate Thesis at SCI-Arc is the school’s largest annual event, spanning three days of school-wide presentations, reviews, and more. Inviting 100 jurors and critics from all over the world to converge in a symposium-like forum, students, architects, urbanists, theorists, artists, academics, deans, and chairs gather to consider, debate, and dispute emerging questions in architecture.

Miniatures itself is an event that brings together students working across various subject matters and disciplinary intentions to kick off their summer thesis on a shared ground. “The miniature, as opposed to a model, describes the idea of an architectural proposal that is more attuned to concepts of context, building scale, and architectural detail instead of an abstract investigation,” says Manferdini. “Often the purpose of these models differs to those of the larger objects—an act of optimism that introduces the audience to the personal world of the students’ imaginations.”

Graduate Thesis midterms took place on August 12, during which SCI-Arc M.Arch 1 and 2 students convened to present their in progress thesis projects. Across the day packed with reviews, led by Graduate Thesis Coordinator Florencia Pita and Graduate Programs Chair Elena Manferdini, students delivered presentations of their in-progress thesis proposals to panels of SCI-Arc faculty, leadership, and distinguished invited guests who joined to offer feedback to the current graduate thesis class on their projects.

Projects presented such as the following reflected a wide range of exploratory interests from the 2020 graduate thesis class: