the theme building

List of Themes

Themes are interesting to discuss in books and artistic works alike, but can be difficult incorporate- especially if you haven’t yet settled on one (like I rarely do!). To help kickstart things, here’s a list of some potential themes.

All of these can be good/bad or bad/good or a grey area, a concept your characters/society has or lacks, or gains or loses along the way. A lot of these may seem ‘cliche’- because hey, they work!

These all have endless variations as well. Family can be blood family or found family. Death can be a thing to accept or a thing to struggle against. Honor can be meaningless or worth fighting for. Betrayal can be of a friend or of a love, or a perceived betrayal versus an actual one. Change can be ‘things always change‘ or ‘things never change‘.

Try putting the theme into a sentence to give you a sense of where to go. “Survival” could be a theme, but “Survival is only possible because of the community we have built” gives you a goal in mind- whatever the context of your story.

This list is not exhaustible or complete. Share some themes you’re a big fan of and/or add more to the list! ([x] means fill in the blank!)

  • Betrayal
  • Change vs Tradition
  • Chaos vs Order
  • Circle of Life
  • Coming of Age
  • Convention vs Rebellion
  • Discovery
  • Death
  • Escape from [x]
  • Ethics
  • Evils
  • Faith vs Doubt
  • Family
  • Fate vs Free Will
  • Fear of [x]
  • Good vs Evil (vs Grey Areas)
  • Individual vs Society
  • Isolation
  • Innocence
  • Judgement
  • Justice vs Injustice
  • Home
  • Honor
  • [X]hood [Mother/Father/Parenthood, Brother/Sister/Siblinghood etc.]
  • Knowledge vs Ignorance
  • Loneliness
  • Love
  • Man vs Nature
  • Names
  • New vs Old
  • Oppression of [x]
  • Power and Corruption
  • Quest
  • Sacrifice
  • Self [Inner vs outer, awareness, preservation, reliance]
  • Spirituality
  • Suffering
  • Survival
  • Technology
  • Temptation
  • War
  • Will [power, to survive]
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Figueras Stables by Estudio Ramos

This project is located in a distinctive region of Argentina known as “The Pampas”. Pampa is an indigenous word meaning “plains” or “flatland”. Along with its mild climate and fertile soils, the area is ideal for agriculture. When traveling through this area, there is an overwhelming feeling of a never-ending horizontality. The horizon, as in middle of the ocean, becomes a very strong element. The poet Atahualpa Yupanqui refers to the landscape of The Pampas as “serene and pensive”. This project, with its pronounced horizontalism and simplicity of elements, attempts to make a reference to all of these themes.

The building is a stable for polo horses with 44 stalls, an area of 3850 square meters and a length of 180 meters. It’s composed of two long volumes and freestanding walls, which when articulated, create diverse spaces and situations.

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ASOUE Week: Favourite Quote