Thesis II: Information Architecture and Documentation

Faculty: Samira Thomas




Design work is fraught with complexity. Because of this, it is entirely possible to make “things” and even “systems” without making much sense to other people. Information architecture is the act of deciding how the pieces of a whole should be arranged to make sense of those you intend to resonate with. It is a critical life skill that is the backbone of all successful design work.

In this class, we will improve your IA skills by focusing on making sense of your thesis work. You will be taught IA frameworks and theory to assure that your work makes sense not just to your peers within the walls at SVA but more importantly to the audience you intend it for.


course objectives

  1. To teach the importance of language and structure in design projects, especially those projects that are large and across various media and channels.
  2. To provide frameworks and theory needed to be thoughtful in the creation of structures that can strengthen the potential for shared meaning and resonance with your audience.  
  3. To encourage clarity when breaking down goals, audiences and concepts.
  4. To explore what it takes to think-through, document and gather feedback on structures that you can implement within your thesis to get to your goals and serve the needs of your audience.



This is a 15 week studio class consisting of a mix of lectures and workshops in a collaborative setting where you will work through making sense of your own thesis topic while also helping others to reflect on making sense of their topic. The class is equal parts improvement of your own work, and improvement of your collaborative and facilitation skills. 


course deliverables

Students in this course will come away with:

  • Concrete ways to synthesize and clarify thesis work across both digital and analog deliverables.
  • An understanding of the importance of language and structural decision making in design work.
  • Mapping and diagramming techniques that can be used in any design context.
  • A clear path through to finalizing your thesis as a video, presentation, blog, and published book.


Required reading