Note to Self: Shit(s) I Learned During Thesis Defense

1. FEAR is the name of the game.

After almost every thesis presentation, I hear a batchmate say, “nakakatakot” or “hindi pa ako ready mag – thesis.” There is also a mysterious prevalence of waterworks during and after thesis presentations. But I guess that’s normal. Your five years’ worth of arki – education will be judged in a meager 60 minutes, what’s not to be jittery about?

2. DEFEND your thesis.

I once pointed out that a thesis presenter was humble enough to admit her mistakes to the jury. But then again, Aja debunked my observation and said, “hindi nga dapat ganun.”

Like duh, it was a fucking thesis defense.

You ought to grow either big balls of courage or hard nerves of steel (better if both) to be able to stand up to the professors who once stood before you. The spotlight will be on you this time, and you better make the most out of your 3600 seconds of fame (or infamy, tee hee).

3. Your thesis adviser will be your KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR.

Sometimes, it’s not a question of how prepared you are. Shit happens and when it does, your thesis adviser is there to stand as a living testament of your total toil. Hopefully, that would be enough to save your unfortunate ass from flunking.

Then again, if you’d rather pick your adviser based on the degree of inspiration… hmmm…

Hagikhikan 2014

“What is the importance of architecture as a discipline in sexual intercourse?”
“We’re experts in the field of erection.”
(c) Hagikhikan

4. Concentrate on the PROCESS over the product.

By thesis year, you should already have a solid design process. Trust me when I say that the jury will know if your design concepts are “pilit lang.” And even if your concepts are seemingly flawless, and your drawings, outright exceptional, you still aren’t off the hook.

Case in Point: Alfie’s Thesis.

I thought his thesis was commendable on its own. At the start of the presentation, he gave out brochures of The Pili Hub, an agro – tourism hub to be situated in the Bicol Region, with cute catchphrases like “choose pili,” “why nut,” and “in a nutshell.” He went as far as putting down supposed rates of the “hospitality” aspect of his design. He even gave the audience caramelized pili and HOP pili polvoron as an appetizer to the full course: his thesis presentation.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. His powerpoint presentation was well prepared. To wit, Ric said, (NV) “mukhang powerpoint presentation pa lang, isang taon na pinaghandaan.” And his 30++ interior and exterior perspective renderings were an eye candy.

However, in the end, the jury thought that he was too “obsessed with the form” when he forced a curvilinear massing for the industrial portion of The Pili Hub and that it was “too grand” for the industry it was catering to. They pointed out that the 50 – million peso (ball – park figure) agro – tourism hub may not be funded properly by the government, given the fact that the pili industry is still underdeveloped. A jury stressed that the right way of doing it was to start with the budget first and then work your way down, and not the other way around.

Still, it was the best damn thesis presentation I’ve ever watched. His charisma and wit tied every aspect of his design together almost seamlessly.

(But for the love of God, do not neglect the PRODUCT.)

5. It never hurts to have your TROPA (and parents) around…

…because you are (and they are and will always be) worth it.

Congrats Arki and LA Thesis Batch 2014!


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