2017 Undergraduate Thesis Winners Announced

On April 22, SCI-Arc’s 2017 Undergraduate Thesis Weekend concluded with the reviews of 46 thesis projects by over 70 critics including SCI-Arc faculty and guests including Winka Dubbeldam, Graham Harman, Catherine Ingraham, Ferda Kolatan, Thom Mayne, Roland Snooks, and Neyran Turan. Students presented architectural responses to real-world technological, ecological, and social issues driving both formally and socially relevant innovation.

The event also marked the awarding of The Blythe and Thom Mayne Undergraduate Thesis Prize by SCI-Arc Director Hernan Diaz Alonso and Undergraduate Program Chair Tom Wiscombe to Connor Gravelle. Gravelle’s response to a design competition call for a museum of contemporary art in Lima, Peru directly addressed the challenge of engaging contemporary architecture with existing historic architecture, and the identity of buildings in dual contexts: both in an urban setting within a city, as well as to exhibition visitors in museum space. 

“Connor's project calls for a shift in what we consider to be the background of the world, asking if architecture can inhabit both background and foreground. He is a fabulous student and poised to be a leader in his generation,” Wiscombe says.

“The thesis work of these students is not simply a set of final projects intended to encapsulate everything they have seen or learned throughout their time at SCI-Arc--it is a new point of departure; a glimpse into the future of architectural discourse,” Wiscombe continues. “I’m intrigued by their interest in mashing up formal regimes, contexts, typologies, and up-ending what we consider to be the ‘users’ of architecture, all within the messy contingencies of adaptive re-use projects, urban, and technological infrastructure.”  

Merit Undergraduate Thesis Awards were given to Deborah Garcia, HyunJi Kim, Amanda Rahayuningtyas and Joel Wong, Jack Oliva-Rendler and Adrian Wong.

Students were advised by M. Casey Rehm, Marcelo Spina, Peter Testa, Michael Young, Melissa Shin, and Undergraduate Thesis Coordinator Marcelyn Gow. The Special Thesis Advisor for this year’s class was Wolf D. Prix. 

Selected thesis projects will be on view in SCI-Arc’s tenth annual Spring Show from April 29 through May 21.

Graduate Thesis work will be reviewed in more detail over the summer. On July 5, graduate thesis will host MINIATURE, an exhibition and presentation of models at the Hauser Wirth Gallery in Los Angeles. Graduate Thesis Final weekend will take place September 8, 9, and 10. 

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