Thesis Topics To Explore In Architecture

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Everyone knows that the final year of the Bachelors’s in architecture curriculum is the most important one for all architectural students. The final year is when the students undertake their dissertations and need to choose their very unique and unusual architectural thesis topics.

An architectural thesis is an entirely independent design and/or research project that is instigated and augmented by the student. While the terms thesis and dissertation are often used interchangeably in colloquial terms, an architectural dissertation is generally more research-based. It involves the in-depth research of already existing topics and providing knowledgeable and substantial views and solutions of their own. 

The topic is often what takes the longest to decide since there is a large variety to choose from. Though there is a vast range of subjects and topics to choose from, students also worry about choosing one which actually lies within their field of interest, whether the topic is realistic enough, unique enough and whether it responds to the current time. Then again, these are still just some of the few factors that affect the choice of the architectural thesis/dissertation topic.

This article hopes to help give you a clear insight into the different architectural thesis topics available for the taking as well as provide a good direction of thought.  


Architectural thesis/dissertation topics can be generalized into the following topics: 

  • Large scale public buildings
    • Industrial design
    • Skyscraper design
    • Office complexes
    • Educational institutions
    • Factories
    • Auditoriums, theatres, sports academies
    • Corporate buildings
    • Urban parks
    • Design of labs and research centers, etc.


  • Cultural buildings
    • Design of heritage buildings
    • Restoration of existing heritage buildings
    • Convention centers
    • Cultural museums
    • Design of religious structures, etc
  • Hospitality buildings and buildings for leisure, wellness and fun
    • Hotels
    • Resorts
    • Hospitals
    • Wellness communities
    • Amusement parks
    • Rehabilitation centers
    • Animal shelters
  • Residential buildings
    • Group housing
    • Apartments
    • Orphanages
    • Old-age homes
    • Shelters

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  • Urban Planning and environment-related 
    • City parks
    • Town planning
    • River-side developments

The above-given subjects and topics are still just one of the many aspects that decide the final topic. Tying these base topics to current worldly problems is one of the ways to really grab your jury’s attention.

By addressing real-world problems and providing solutions to them, your architectural thesis project/dissertation gets elevated onto a higher level of design.

Here are some of the subjects that could be addressed in your thesis/dissertation that could really amp it up:

  • Urbanization

Urbanization is a factor that is more often than not, taken to be a good thing. Often it remains unnoticed that urbanization also results in a need for more jobs, housing, resources and even something as menial as better roads. Addressing this issue has resulted in the design of mixed-use developments, which seek to reduce building footprint, house more people, reduce multi-directional service lines and public works.

Another issue addressed in this same subject is the conversion of urban land into concrete jungles to meet the rising populations’ needs. Thesis topics that arise from this angle, speak of urban parks and green developments amidst cities.

  • Poverty

More often than not, poverty is drawn in a parallel with homelessness. In thesis projects, it is often addressed as a precursor to the idea of eradicating slums and presenting the unprivileged with low-cost housing.

This is a topic that is often spoken of and provided solutions to as a lot of factors need to be considered, like material used, the area provided, coverage of the housing, services leading to it, passive cooling or heating strategies implemented to further reduce the cooling and heating costs, creation of jobs, etc. 

  • Global Warming and Environmental degradation

Though this seems like a fairly obvious subject, its realization in architecture arises in many creative solutions. Riverside developments that are designed to keep a check on the factories that empty their grimy guts into the water, National parks and resorts in the wilderness that demands that the landscape remains as close to nature as possible, usage of recycled material in construction, Waste and sewage treatment plant design within urban planning, etc.

Are all ideas that one can venture into for their architectural dissertation or architectural thesis projects.

These are just some of the real-world issues that once tied up to the design subject, make for an extremely entrancing thesis project or a dissertation topic.

Another topic that is very commonly used as a concept or topic in architecture but very rarely truly realized is sustainability.

Sustainability, in the simplest of terms, is the capacity to ensure in a relatively ongoing way across various domains of life. In terms of real-world problems, sustainability as a solution is the avoidance of the depletion of natural resources to maintain an ecological balance.

The expanding population, urbanization and the need for resources cannot be stopped but what we can ensure is that the communities and individuals become largely sustainable in order to reduce the use of already depleting resources. Architectural thesis projects and dissertations that address this and design their ideas to be sustainable will very obviously be highlighted and the project itself will be highlighted.  

Hopefully, this article gives you a good idea of the subjects that one can venture into and the aspects of it that will make your architectural thesis design or dissertation topic that is unique and makes for an indelible ending to your college life.

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Saili Sawantt
Saili Sawantt
Architect and Interior Designer by profession, Writing is what she treats as her passion. She has worked as an Architectural Writer, Editor, and Journalist for various design as well as digital portals like ParametricArchitecture, FOAID (Festival of Architecture & Interior Design), Rethinking the Future (RTF), La Polo International, etc. Formerly she has also worked with Godrej Properties Limited (GPL) Design Studio, Mumbai due to her keen interested in learning about Sustainability and Green buildings. Apart from this, she runs her blog 'The Reader's Express'.

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