An architecture degree can set you back tens of thousands of pounds these days, not to mention many years of study. And while there is no replacing a traditional architecture degree, no matter how expensive, there are a growing number of high-quality free online courses covering topics as diverse as Roman architecture through to sustainable urban environments. The providers of these courses are also highly authoritative, with free architecture courses being made available by the likes of Yale and Harvard.
The Selo team is passionate about great architecture and stunning design so we’ve selected 10 of the best free online architecture courses below so you don’t have to. Enjoy!
1) A Global History of Architecture
A great starting point for anyone interested studying architecture generally, or becoming an architect specifically, is the Global History of Architecture course from edX. The course provides an overview of the rich, varied and fascinating history of architecture, from 100,000 BCE to ca. 1,600 CE.
The Global History of Architecture course runs for 12 weeks and requires 8 hours of effort per week.
2) Designing Cities
Learn all about the methods and processes involved in designing the modern city, including How Today’s City Evolved; The Ideas That Shape Cities; Tools for Designing Cities; Making Cities Sustainable; Cities in the Information Age; Preserving Older Cities; Designing New Cities, Districts and Neighborhoods; The Challenges of Informal Cities and Disadvantaged Neighborhoods; and Visionary Cities.
3) Smart Cities
With smart technology transforming the way we live, this course from adX will help you to learn how ‘data and information impact the design, sustainability and resilience of future cities.’
The Smart Cities course runs for 10 weeks and requires 3 hours of effort per week.
4) Future Cities
People interested in the Smart Cities course are likely to be similarly intrigued by the Future Cities course from edX. In this course, taught by many of the same academics as the Smart Cities course, you will learn ‘how to better understand, create and manage the future cities for a more resilient urban world’
The Future Cities course runs for 10 weeks and requires 3 hours of effort per week.
5) Quality of Life: Livability in Future Cities
A sequel to the Future Cities course, Quality of Life: Livability in Future Cities looks at how architecture, design and urban planning will shape the experience of people living in the cities of tomorrow, with a particular focus on urban energy, urban climate, urban ecology and urban mobility.
The Quality of Life: Livability in Future Cities course runs for 11 weeks, and requires 3 hours of effort per week.
6) Models in Architecture – design through physical & digital models
Digital design skills are an indispensable element of the practice of architecture in 2017. The Models in Architecture – design through physical & digital models course courtesy of edX will help you to ‘learn to develop your architectural designs by using scale models as well as Virtual Reality representations.’
The Models in Architecture – design through physical & digital models course runs for 6 weeks, and requires 4-6 hours of effort per week.
7) Roman Architecture
If classical architecture is more to your taste, then the Roman Architecture course from Yale University may be just up your street. Taught by Diana E.E. Kleiner, Dunham Professor of History of Art and Classics at Yale University, the course is designed for ‘people who love to travel and want to discover the power of architecture to shape politics, society, and culture.’
8) Sustainable Urban Environments
Another course from edX, this time on the important topic of Sustainable Urban Environments. The course aims to teach students how ‘integrated systems and individual actions can shape sustainable cities, generating (a) higher quality of life for the future.’
The Sustainable Urban Environments course runs for 6 weeks and requires 4-6 hours of effort per week.
9) The Architectural Imagination
Receive an Ivy League architectural education with The Architectural Imagination course, courtesy of Harvard University.
The course, which is taught by a number of Harvard academics, will teach you:
How to read, analyze, and understand different forms of architectural representation
Social and historical contexts behind major works of architecture
Basic principles to produce your own architectural drawings and models
Pertinent content for academic study or a professional career as an architect
10) Making Architecture
The Making Architecture course from Coursera ‘offers a unique insight into the mind and work of an Architect, starting with the basics of the profession and culminating with the production of a scaled site model.’
The course is designed specifically for people interested in taking an undergraduate degree in architecture, as well as those who keen to learn more about the discipline.