Architecture ought to be narrative to embody the sense of space, make it experiential and meaningful. The psychological dimension of architecture is addressed by spatial narratives making the design approach humanistic. The discipline of narrative architecture is connected to a myriad of allied and different domains which find true application and inspiration in the design process such as film making, architecture fiction, digital media, cognitive science, phenomenology, user-oriented design, historical events, spatial configuration, architecture image, etc. Here are 20 different thesis topics related to a narrative architecture based on its different applications.

1. Rituals and Narrative Architecture

Rituals are characterized by their sequence of activities in a sequestered place and are based on archetypal actions based on culture or lifestyle. The thesis could be formulated as a design that explores sequential association and articulation of space as an expression of ritual which forms the order of life.

Rituals and Narrative Architecture
A place of spirit ©

2. Narrative driven Design Process based on Film Production Design

A thesis to derive a narrative-driven design approach could be formulated which studies and uses film production design as the template for it, such as observing cinematographic qualities of the site, building narratives, characters, etc.

Narrative driven Design Process based on Film Production Design
Storyboard ©

3. Limits of Architecture Story-telling and Developing Alternatives

In the conventional narrative design process, the object, or building imprints meaning into the subject or the user, which in reality is a false determinism of architects in the post-occupancy stage. Hence an attempt could be made to develop a reverse relation of subject-object and other narrative types such as design derived from narratives, contextual narratives, etc.

Limits of Architecture Story-telling and Developing Alternatives
Different Narrative approaches ©

4. Narrative Architecture and Cinematic Choreography

A thesis involving research into how spatial choreography which is a skill of constructing space with proper structured logical continuity helps in semiotics and communication of a narrative structure in architectural design can be undertaken.

Narrative Architecture and Cinematic Choreography
Spatial choreography through framework illustrations © Nadia Qadir,(2011), Spatial Effects: Narrative Structure in Architecture,(Pakistan))

5. Building Fiction or Architecture of Narratives

The thesis can explore the overlapping of real and fictional architectural environments to drive the narrative and precipitate an immersive experience for the visitors by studying the physical setting imagined elements and film technologies from fiction.

Building Fiction or Architecture of Narratives
Architectural fiction ©

6. Spatial Language through Storytelling

This thesis topic is a solution to address the one dimensional or single-layered narratives in architectural design projects which lack linkage with the cultural roots.  This could be solved by developing a spatial language that narrates the story of a place through multiple layers of storytelling such as drawing, locating, developing visuals, etc.

Spatial Language through Storytelling
Layers of storytelling process ©

7. Psychologically emotion in Design

Studying building characteristics that trigger particular emotions in users could be studied from various executed projects to derive the design aids that could be adopted into a design with insight into the physical and social context.

Psychologically emotion in Design
Architecture invoking fantasy ©

8. Narratives to solve Shortcomings of Past Architectural styles

Understanding the role of narratives in a built environment and design process helps in combining different styles of past eras as they connect humans with their environment and help them in forming their identity, which was lacking for some of the revolutionary styles of various centuries.

Narratives to solve Shortcomings of Past Architectural styles
A Rational building of the Modern period ©

9. Digital Applications in Narrative Architecture

Systems of interlinked, interacting, smart, alternative, and responsive places enhance the user experience of building in virtual and augmented ways that have a high degree of application in the future.

Digital Applications in Narrative Architecture
Imperial War Museum ©

10. Fiction in Mentally Built Environment

This thesis could explore how architectural design could induce messages that are correlated to brain wave cognition and generate a brain environment in which the brain can construct a fictional design on its own.

Fiction in Mentally Built Environment
Limbo Experience ©

11. Narrative Architecture and Museum Design

The sequence of events,  temporality, and the immersive environment are inevitable ingredients for the design of a museum that can be explored with the multitude of ways narrative architecture could foster the intended environment and experience for the visitors.

Narrative Architecture and Museum Design
An art installation by Studio Eliason- Your Nature denudation Inverted, Carnegie Museum ©

12. Narrative structures in Cognitive architecture

At present cognitive architecture embed narratives from a functional perspective and not as a means of storing material in memory. The thesis could explore how memory could be redefined in narrative structures with the application of computational narrative and applying it to different types of human memory.

Narrative structures in Cognitive architecture
Cognitive architecture ©

13. Urban Renewal through a study of Spatial Narratives

A city is evolved out of various architectural forms and systems, each of which is generated by certain morphological determinants that form the spatial narrative of the growth of the place. Hence renewal projects, the study of overlapping of these narratives could help in globalizing the local environment in design.

Urban Renewal through a study of Spatial Narratives
Urban Morphology as Narrative ©

14. Spatializing Narrative

Space can either serve as an object for narration or as a background for a narrative to be physically deployed. This thesis topic focuses on the latter approach which also helps in formulating steps that are required in inscribing a narrative in real space such as the geography, local narratives, heritage sites in the area, etc.

Spatializing Narrative
Natural Geography as a narrative for building ©

15. Architectural Image

Insights from the image-making profession to improve architectural image-making practice helps to learn how an image can communicate what is important to be conveyed vividly.

Architectural Image
Architectural image ©

16. Architecture as Lived Experience

This topic is inspired by Heidegger’s treatise ‘Being and Time’, a phenomenological analysis of human existence through temporality and archetypes. It primarily focuses on how built forms establishes relations with earth, sun, water, and wind.

Architecture as Lived Experience
Process experiencing architecture ©

17. Movement in architecture

The thesis could explore how bodies move within the built environment and how the movement could be enhanced by the built environment physically and psychologically.

Movement in architecture
Movement in Architecture ©

18. Spatial Narrative as Collective Memory

The construction of a narrative stems from people’s collective memory of the past the approaches for portraying a historical event, a cultural identity or a memorial could be best explored from narratives.

Spatial Narrative as Collective Memory
Aldo Rossi’s Collective memory theory ©

19. Meaningful Landscape through Narratives

This thesis investigates the art of storytelling in imparting meaning in a landscape design that grounds it with the culture. For eg, embodying folktales in landscape design to express the culture.

Meaningful Landscape through Narratives
Landscape narratives ©

20. Narrativity in User-Oriented Architecture

Architecture which expresses a narrative through its spatial contents makes the space unique and specific for the users with its tailored atmospheric qualities such as materiality, configuration, and time.

Narrativity in User-Oriented Architecture
Developing architecture narrative ©

A student architect who is deeply interested in architectural journalism, research and education. She is a classical dancer along with a profound passion for music and literature. This ardent reader firmly believes in ones karma and strives to forge a self identity in her mastering domains.