Thesis of the Month: Adam DeChant
A senior pursuing a bachelor of science in architecture, Adam DeChant is currently working on a Senior Honors Thesis that explores material connections not covered in the standard curriculum.
For his project, DeChant is utilizing various metals such as steel, wood and other common architectural modeling materials to create a physical model that demonstrates the various material connections in the formulation of a baseball stadium scheme.
DeChant believes this project will allow him to expand his knowledge of in practical design, something he says is not covered in the standard architecture curriculum.
"In study, architecture has non-structural modeling materials that are used to represent 'real-life' building materials use in construction, but for my thesis, I challenge to use these 'real-life' building materials on a smaller scale to learn more about the building materials and how to strategically combine different materials on such a small scale," DeChant said.
His Senior Honors Thesis, which has a working title of "Fabricating Stadium Architecture Through Motorcycle Design," is being completed under the direction of his faculty advisor, Jon Yoder, associate professor in the College of Architecture and Environmental Design.
DeChant became interested in his thesis topic while restoring his motorcycle this past year. During the restoration process, he became interested in how the various materials were fused together in such a seamless manner that made the entire bike feel as one.
"I wanted to challenge myself to create such a seamless work and, with my interest in stadium design, was intrigued to try to create a model of seamless integration between a baseball stadium and its urban context," DeChant said. "In theory I wanted the stadium to act as how the diamond in a wedding band would act; it is the most beautiful and attention-captivating, but, at the same time, could not exist without the band around it to affix it to the finger, alike how the stadium could no survive without its urban neighbors funding it."
The product of his work will include a large scale model of approximately a 3' x 5' domain. The model will represent relationships between parts and materials as well as how they are fastened together. Using visual interpretations of space in two-dimensional representations, De Chant will add the third dimension to the model to activate the experiential conditions that are denoted in the two-dimensional representations.
DeChant indicates that his work will be influenced by a number of influential architects including Paul Rudolph, Frank Lloyd Wright, Michael Webb, Cedric Price, Rem Koolhaas, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, LTL, Neil Nenari and Lake Flato.
His thesis worked earned him a Senior Honors Thesis Fellowship from the Honors College, a scholarship that supports undergraduate Honors College students in thesis research.
After graduation this May, DeChant hopes to pursue graduate study in an architecture program that allows him to use wood and metals to physically create his designs.