The Cooper Union
School of Architecture

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Professors Diana Agrest, MariaElena Fanna, Thomas Leeser, and David Turnbull

The Thesis project is of major importance in the education of an architect. Students have to define their interests and their questions about architecture through the definition of a theme, a site, and eventually a program. These projects are not always or necessarily meant to be problem solving proposals but rather the place where critical issues can be made explicit and tested.

What unifies the Thesis projects is that they are all based on philosophical and conceptual values and beliefs, and in that respect it is the hope of a teacher that this will be an experience that will inspire the students for a search that will last a lifetime.

A Thesis addresses two aspects of architecture simultaneously, the specific issues of the project itself and the implications of the concepts involved in the project in relation to the discourse of architecture today, in a historical perspective.

Many of the Theses in this class deal with socio-political, global or local issues, ranging from ecological crisis to transforming modes of habitation. Other Theses focus on urban issues and on new landscapes for habitation at the scale and speed of the car and the highway, the relationship between film and the city, or the transformation of twentieth century urban discourse.