A weekly seminar required for MLA candidates electing to pursue a design thesis. The intent of the course is to define the parameters of the design thesis and frame the individual candidate’s thesis statement. The first half of the course addresses a series of broad themes essential to developing a cogent thesis topic: disciplinary frameworks; identification of precedents; methodological concerns; means of representation; questions of site and program; research resources; and relevant literature. The second half focuses on practical necessities, including writing a thesis statement and abstract; site selection; base documentation; and data collection and analysis. The course will meet weekly for three hours; it will include group discussions of readings and precedent studies and individual sessions with a focus on writing and representation. Course requirements include class attendance and participation; brief weekly writings; the preparation of a thesis proposal document for which detailed requirements will be provided; and a final presentation of the proposal, both in class and to outside reviewers. Students will also be expected to identify and secure a thesis advisor during the semester.