Sunday, January 10, 2016


Post 134   by Gautam Shah
These are major heads for Research (thesis) in Design related fields. Each of the categories contains important keywords. Yet your desired topic may not be neatly listed here. So mark out important keywords across several categories, and rearrange them as areas of importance.

This write up was created for Final semester students of Design Schools (Architecture + Interior Design courses in INDIA) of 4 or 5 Years at UG level and 3 or 4 Semester at PG level.

CAUTION: A topic for thesis or research should be very specific that is it must not be very broad based. Describe your topic in 10 to 15 key words by arranging the terms (keywords) per your priority.

This list was first formed during 1995 but since than has been revised at few places. (Jan 2016) - by Gautam Shah (

1.1 Design education related material:
Identification, classification, collection, compilation, investigation and documentation. (Hard copy, Soft copy, digital slide show, video, Internet worthy -cross linking, site referencing e.g. wikipedia).
1.2 Curriculum strategies:
Course design, vision statement, Design teaching methods, Design assessment methods, Design handling processes.
1.3 Design Education Subjects:
Net resources on specific subjects, Review of published material on specific subjects, Critical review of existing thesis and other research works.

2.1 Materials technology
Historical technology traces, Craft materials, Material sciences, Materials per culture or geographic region, Resources and availability, Optional resources, Sustainability, Material-elements in terms of time (era), style (aspect).
2.2 Materials for Arts and Crafts
Colourants, Film forming substances, Craft techniques, Surface treatments, styles, traditions, trends, developments in other plastic arts, time & space evaluations, roots & origins.
2.3 Tools
Craft tools, Handling techniques, Construction techniques, Applications, Processes.

3.1 Standards
Specifications, Test procedures, Performance parameters, Quality Standards.
3.2 Manufacturing processes
Automation, sensorial aspects, hazards, ecological valuation, costing, handling, recycling Natural materials, traditional materials, scarce materials, renewable resources, self-degenerating materials,
3.3 Materials
Polymers, Alloys, Metals, Ceramics, Composites Nano technologies.
3.4 Joining systems
Welding, Mechanical joining, Friction joints, Fusion joining, Adhesion technologies, Water-proofing systems, Insulation systems.

4.1 Components
Walls, openings, floors, roofs, partitions, Panellings, Cladding, Surfacing, Coatings, structural, surfaces, Grills and trellis.
4.2 Systems
Movement, Transfer, HVAC, Climate management, Sound, Thermal, Air movement, Ventilation, Water supply, Drainage, Electric power, Security, Passages, Illumination, Comfort.
4.3 Amenities and Facilities
Toilets, washing areas, Storage, Garbage, Sewage, Cooking or food preparations, Food consumption or dining, Communication, Surveillance, Anti-ligature, Fences, Barricades, Gates, Railings, Parapets
4.4 Building Hardware
Movement, Locking, Openings’ Hardware, Plumbing, Toilet fixtures and fittings, Appliances, Furniture fittings and fixtures, gadgets.

5.1 Structural Systems
Tensile structures, Compressive structures, Thin body elements, Catenary structures, Parabolic structures, Load transfer systems, Towers
5.2 Structural elements
Beams, Columns, Piers, Arches, Masonry, Precast elements, Wires, Cables & ropes,
5.3 Structural materials
Rolled steel sections, Pipes, Spacial steels, Stainless steels, Polymer sheets, Teflon, Poly Carbonates, Acrylics, PVC, Cement Finishes, Composites, Alloys.

6.1 Construction
Historical technologies, Modern methods of storage and handling, Assembly, erection, Systems engineering, modularization & open ended systems, ISO 9000 series recognition.
6.2 Production
Tools, Gadgets, Equipments, Plants, Capacities, Alternative technologies, Industrial production processes.
6.3 Specific Technologies
Road construction, Pavements, Curbs, Surface drains, Landscaping, Retaining walls, Support structures, Foundations, Earth structures, Fabrication

7.1 Audio Aspects
Acoustics Design, Audio engineering, Reverberation and architectural form, Sound insulation & reflection, The phenomena of White Noise, Open office planning, Small & Large spaces, Audio privacy.
7.2 Visual Aspects
Visual perception, Glare management, Foreground-background contrasts, natural Illumination, Visual modelling, Sky Component, Surface reflection, Moving and stationary objects, Perception of movements, Silhouette in architecture, stratification of view from windows, Framing.
7.3 Colour and Texture Aspects
Theory of colour, Colour trees and models, use of colour pallette, Textures of materials, Colour schemes and themes.
7.4 Climate and Comfort
Macro and local Climate of place, Humidity management, Air Movements, Thermal management in a space, Latent heat, Thermal behaviour of materials, Green building concept, Basal Metabolic rate.

8.1 Space
Perception, Space sizes, Space-Environment settings, Human behaviour, Sociological, psychological, Communication, Expression, Anthropometric & ergonomics, Adaptation, Stress, Comfort, Intra personal relationships,
8.2 Space theory
Parameters, Standards, formulation, deductive surveys.
8.3 Space planning
for dwellings, educational, Commercial, Retailing, storage, Production processes, Restaurants, Health facilities, Furniture and objects lay-outing, Illumination layout, HVAC layout, Space planning Flow charts, History of Commercial space design, Future trends for Space planning, Home work areas (SOHO) and central offices, Cabin vs Open offices, Public spaces, Landscape design, Street planning, Plazas.

9.1 Sizes
Ancient Measure systems, Measure transmissions, Modulated measures, Proportions, ISO measure systems, Modulor systems, Mathematical orders (such as Fibonacci),
9.2 Fathoming Human sizes
Ergonomics, Anthropometrics, Racial variations, Use of Statistical methods, Percentile system,
9.3 Safety, Security
Emergency escape size provisions, Fire and disaster evacuation, Fire rating of materials and composition,
9.4 Provisions
Anti-Ligature provisions, Specially abled citizens, Senior citizens, Safety against height difference, Tactile vs slippery surfaces, Grab bars, Steps-risers, Ramp gradients, Passage widths, Ambulatory spaces for wheel chairs & stretchers, Reach and access capacities,

10.1 Public space Graphics
Signages, Visual recognition, Message, Colours, Size and distance, Cultural ethos, Street graphics.
10.2 Media Graphics
Formats, Scaling, condensation, abbreviation, Digital techniques for creation and production, Transmission over networks,
10.3 Graphics Contents
Signs, Symbols, Patterns, Repeats, Grids, Matrices, Use of ‘Cartoons’ as copy and composition tool in ancient Art works, Abstractions, Surrogate forms, Architectural graphics, Animated graphics, Time factor for perception, Socio-Cultural relevance, Control panels, Coding of contents, Hue, Tone,
10.4 Architectural representations
Anomalies of Ortho views, Mis-representations in auto generated 3D views, Limitations of mono-chrome formats, Use of colour for documenting interior materials, Perceiving illumination through cad tools, BIM techniques, Models and perception of spaces.

11.1 Macro Climate
Planning with macro climate factors, Terrains, Climate zones, Building types, Designing for extreme climates,
11.2 Micro Climate
Humidity management, Passive cooling, Thermal management of building shell, Life style and time scheduling of tasks, Chowks, Open Spaces, Verandah, Terraces, Shading devices, Climate control in ancient buildings,
11.3 Modulated Climate Management
Climate and space planning, Climate and task locations, Environment management for vehicles, Solar gain management, Insulation, Reflection, Radiation, Refraction.

12.1 Exterior space management
Maintenance, gardening, landscaping, visual graphics, Street architecture, Street Furniture, Parks, Gardens, Children play area, Accessibility of specially abled persons,
12.2 Waste management
Solid wastes, Septic tanks, recycling, recharging devices, digesters, Sick-building syndrome, dilution of atmospheric pollution, Garbage chutes, Chimneys, Restaurant Kitchen wastes management, Medical and health care planning.
12.3 Estate keeping
Large estates, Hotels, Corporate houses, Repair and Maintenance schedules, Fire precautions, Safety, Security, Pets, Planning for vehicles parking and accessibility, Disaster management, Surveillance.

13.1 Design Processes
Holistic design, Parts & Component approach, Systems engineering, Simultaneous design or concurrent engineering, Redesign strategies, Concept forming, Decision making, Problem solving,
13.2 Professional practice
Types of Design fields, Scope for Interior Designers, Ethics in Design practice, Professional, Types of Clients in design practice, Deliverables in design practice, Negotiating with clients, Types of Design Fees, Contracts, Arbitration, Fees billing, Value and Cost of design projects,
13.3 Project Management
History of design project handling, Guilds and associations in design, Project planning, Project execution, Project evaluation, Operations management, Green field projects, Design+Build practices, Project reports,
13.4 Employment Processes
Employer, Employees, Process of employment, Task handling, Retraining, Fresh employment, Free lancing, Associate-ship, Partnership, Consultancy, Proprietorship, Limited liabilities companies, Cooperative society act, NGOs Trusts & Foundations,
13.5 Design execution

Job Awards, Tendering processes, Specifications writing, Performance specifications, Standards, Quality standards, ISO 9000 & other management processes, Rate & Cost analysis, Estimating, Cost finding,,
13.6 Economics Commercial aspects
Costing, Depreciation, valuation, financial working of project, resources allocation, return, loss and gain analysis, Spread sheet tools for analysis.

14.1 Styles
Styles in Arts and other creative fields, Movements,
14.2 Representation
Metaphors, Symbolization, Similes, Motifs, Patterns, Proportion systems, styles, `movements', communication and meaning, abbreviation, abstraction,
14.3 Art forms
Palaeolithic art forms, surfaces & materials, Egyptian wall art, Representation of built forms in ancient paintings, Surface treatments in ancient architecture, Perspective and 3D space presentation in art forms, Buildings in Indian miniatures, (mis) Perception of ancient Indian architecture in older generation books (like Percy Brown etc.),
14.4 Craft forms
Building crafts, Stone crafts, Mural crafts, Glass making, Ceramics, Fabric crafts, Metal crafts, weaving, carpets, knitting, crochet work, Furnishings, Ceiling, Panellings, Gilding, Lacquering, Enamelling, Niello work, Parquetry, embossing, stained glass work, inlay work, stucco work, leather work.

15.1 Design periods
Post Louis XIV period, Pre Industrial period, automated weaving, Crafts patronage across Europe such as Gobelins, Industrial age crafts, Arts-crafts movement, Shakers furniture, Masters of architecture, Art Nouveau, Jugendstil, Deconstructivism, Surrealism
15.2 Modern movements
Art, Architecture, and other fields, British Raj period in India, Post Independence period in India, Ekistics, Study of cross-media art movements, Parallelism in art movements, Virtual art, Abstraction, Absurd-ism,

16.1 Buildings by types
Palaces, Haveli, Bungalows, Dak Bungalows, Sarais, Hotels, Rest-houses, Inns, Chawls, Barracks, Row houses, Pol houses, Tents, Health-care, Educational, Commercial, Administrative, Parks, Gardens, zoos, Museums, Exhibitions, Retail, Industrial, Entertainment, Theatres,
16.2 Shelters
Resettlement colonies, Emergency accommodations, Flood shelters, Slum rehousing, Mass housing, demountable houses, hostels, dormitories,
16.3 Climate-environment related forms
Desert, Hot-humid, Water front, Coastal,
16.4 Materials dominated forms
Pre-fabricated, Clay-mud, Bricks, Cement blocks, Wood-timber, Bamboo, Grass, Dressed Stone, Rubble-boulders, Composites, Metal, Domes, Thin-body structures,
16.5 Functional forms
Transport stations-terminals, Warehouses, Memorials, Monuments, Treatment plants, Bridges, Dams, Bunds, Fly-overs, Crematoriums, Temples, Water front facilities,

17.1 Relevance of Buildings
Location, Historical, Functional, Economic rent or returns, Planning rules-regulations, Connectivity, Neighbourhoods, Urban-zoning, Metaphoric values, Heritage buildings,
17.2 Changes in buildings
Conservation, Renovation, Extension, Alterations, Additions, Demolitions, Maintenance, Preservation, Reuse, Re-branding, Corporate identity, Functional re-validation, Miniaturization, Rejuvenation, Minimalism,
17.3 Sustenance
Recycling Built spaces, reusing debris, Environmental concerns, Role of stack holders, Green building, Disposing hazardous materials like Asbestos, Rain-water harvesting,

18.1 Urban Places and spaces
18.2 Planning controls, Development strategies
18.3 Scale
, Public space architecture, Public space utilities and furniture, Study of localities, Renewals

19.1 Origins and Environment
Regions, History, Context, Relevance, Utility, Localities, Craft-clusters, Apprenticeship, Training facilities, Ethnicity,
New materials, new tools, machines, technologies, Design and pattern systems, mass production, working of government & private agencies.
19.2 Craft types: Material based:
Clay-Ceramics, Wood, Stone, Metal, Fabrics, Paper, Paper-pulp, Glass, leather, Glass,
19.3 Craft types: Function based: Buildings, Surface finishing, Furniture, Furnishing, adornments, Enrichments, Reach tools,
19.4 Craft types: Technology based: Material form change, resizing, finishing, material addition, removal, polishing, heat induced changes, chemical changes, joining, forging, geometric compositions.
19.5 Format of presentation: Surveys, Reports, Case studies, Investigations, comparative evaluations, Monographs. Hard copy, Soft copy.

20.1 Typology
Product design, Furniture design, Calligraphy, Printing, Digital graphics and presentations, Graphics, Media technologies, Photography, Audio, Video and Film making, Textile and Fashion Design, Soft furnishings, Lining works,
20.2 Convergence of crafts
Methods of use with Architecture and Interior Design, Style dependency, Identification of areas where these merge, Common features, technologies, ideologies, approaches.
20.3 Product / Format of presentation: Surveys, Reports, Case studies, Investigations, comparative evaluations, Monographs.

21.1 Contents: Landscape architecture, Urban design, Public spaces, Street architecture, Interior architecture, HVAC, Illumination, Climate and architecture, Transportation Engineering, Conservation, Ecology.
Application and integration of these fields into Architecture and Interior Design.
21.2 Product / Format of presentation: Surveys, Reports, Case studies, Investigations, comparative evaluations. Hard copy, Soft copy, Digital slide show, Video, Internet worthy (Hyper text, cross linking, site referencing e.g. wikipedia). 

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