Free Online Architecture and Design Courses

Courtesy of shutterstock.com

Thanks to the increasing popularity of massive open online courses — or MOOCs as they’re commonly referred to — learning has never been easier (or more convenient). Sites like Coursera and edX offer free classes online from accredited and well-known universities across the globe, including Harvard, MIT and the University of Hong Kong. While some classes are more structured and include a set lesson plan, homework assignments, quizzes and the option to receive a certificate at the end, others can be set at your own pace and approached more independently.

Following our wildly popular article on Four Ways to Learn About Architecture for Free, we’ve compiled a list of upcoming online classes related to architecture, engineering, urbanism and design. So whether you’re looking to embark on a new topic or dive deeper into an already familiar subject, take a look at these free online courses after the break.

“A Truman Show-Style Nightmare”? Critics React to BIG and Heatherwick’s Designs for Google

© / BIG / Heatherwick Studio

In their designs for Google’s new headquarters, released last week amid much excitement, Bjarke Ingels and Thomas Heatherwick have taken cues from the utopian visions of the past to create a radical solution for the sprawling tech campus in Mountain View, California. Citing the lack of identifiable architecture in the technology sector, a promotional video on Google’s own blog reveals how the company plans to embrace nature, community, and flexibility with the new scheme.

Chief among the company’s concerns was creating a building capable of adapting to future uses in addition to serving as a neighborhood-enhancing environment to welcome visitors from the surrounding community. As with any news related to Google, the design has already attracted the attention of the media – read on after the break for our rundown of the most salient reviews so far.

Casa en Cassà / Ricard Galiana + Yago Oliva

© Nani Pujol

Architects: Ricard Galiana,
Location: 17244 Cassà de la Selva, Girona, Spain
Area: 580.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Nani Pujol

AD Classics: Caja Granada Savings Bank / Alberto Campo Baeza

© Estudio Arquitectura Campo Baeza

The city of Granada in southern is well reputed for its architectural heritage. It counts among its treasures the Alhambra and the Generalife, two of the finest triumphs of Moorish culture, in addition to countless works of European lineage from the centuries following the Reconquista. Since 2001, has been able to lay claim to one of Spain’s finest contemporary projects as well, the Caja Savings Bank, designed by the since-established firm of Alberto Campo Baeza.

KM 429 Chosen to Design Isola Garibaldi Civic Center in Milan

Courtesy of

The first-place competition winner from KM 429 architecture, this proposal for the Isola Garibaldi Civic Center draws inspiration from Milan’s historic architectural tradition superimposed within the modern urban context. Through its refusal to be monumentalized, the Civic Center generates a new language within its neighborhood and looks to the city’s past to create a vital civic architecture to serve present, and future, needs.

Hallenhaus / Observatorium

© Thomas Mayer

Architects: Observatorium
Location: Halde Norddeutschland, 47506 Neukirchen-Vluyn, Germany
Year: 2014
Photographs: Thomas Mayer

Michael Kimmelman. Image © Matej Stransky
Michael Kimmelman. Image © Matej Stransky

Michael Kimmelman Discusses The Importance Of Advocacy In Architectural Criticism

In an interview with Erika Allen for The New York Times, Michael Kimmelman discusses “architecture criticism and the dangers of demolition.” Kimmelman, the NYT’s architecture critic, has built a reputation as someone who advocates for buildings under threat, his most well known “fight” being against renovation plans drawn up by Foster + Partners for the New York Public Library in Manhattan. Referencing his latest column, in which he shows support for the threatened Orange County Government Centre, Kimmelman elaborates on his critical position and why he believes that speaking out for buildings at risk is ”necessary.”

Villa Criss-Cross Envelope / OFIS Architects

© Tomaz Gregoric

Architects: OFIS Architects
Location: Ljubljana,
Area: 340.0 sqm
Year: 2015
Photographs: Tomaz Gregoric

Primary School in Châteauneuf Sion / Savioz Fabrizzi Architectes

© Michel Bonvin

Architects: Savioz Fabrizzi Architectes
Location: Châteauneuf, 1950,
Year: 2014
Photographs: Michel Bonvin

Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium / Pattern Design

© Dennis Gilbert

Architects: Pattern Design
Location: Al Ain – Abu Dhabi –
Architect Of Record: Mark Habre and Associate
Lead Consultant And Master Planner : Broadway Malyan
Year: 2014
Photographs: Dennis Gilbert

Songjiang Art Campus / Archi-Union Architects

Courtesy of

Architects: Archi-Union Architects
Location: Si Zhuan Nan Lu, Songjiang Qu, Shi, China
Architect In Charge: Philip F. Yuan
Area: 150000.0 sqm
Year: 2015
Photographs: Courtesy of Archi-Union Architects

Sosohun / Sam-Young Choi

© Jeongmin Seok

Architects:
Location: 1652-569 Beopheung-ri, Tanhyeon-myeon, Paju-si, Gyeonggi-do, South
Design Team: Woo-Jin Choi, Myung-Sik Choi
Area: 124.0 sqm
Photographs: Jeongmin Seok

Negro Building via Bustler
Negro Building via Bustler

Open Call: The Negro Building Remembrance Competition

The Negro Building Remembrance Competition invites architects, landscape architects, artists, playwrights, poets, musicians and writers from every discipline, as individuals, teams, students or professionals, to propose imaginative ways to commemorate the Negro Building, the forgotten landmark of the 1895 Cotton States and International Exposition in AtlantaGeorgia. Read on to learn more. 

Cabin 2 / Maddison Architects

© Will Watt

Architects: Maddison Architects
Location: Moonah TAS 7009,
Architect In Charge: Peter Maddison
Area: 110.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Will Watt

Orange County Government Center by Paul Rudolph © New York Times - Tony Cenicola
Orange County Government Center by Paul Rudolph © New York Times - Tony Cenicola

Fate of Paul Rudolph’s Orange County Government Center to be Decided Tomorrow

Tomorrow legislators are due to decided the fate of Paul Rudolph’s Orange County Government Center. The midcentury icon, listed on the World Monuments Fund’s global watch list, has been the center of a prolonged debate challenging its right to be preserved. 

“The plan is to gut Paul Rudolph’s Orange County Government Center, strip away much of its distinctive, corrugated concrete and glass exterior and demolish one of its three pavilions, replacing it with a big, soulless glass box,” says architecture critic Michael Kimmelman. “[The legislators] can do the right thing Thursday. They can overturn the veto and reconsider demolition.” More on Kimmelman’s call to save the Rudolph landmark, here

Office Conversion in Cascais / GGLLatelier

Courtesy of GGLL atelier

Architects: GGLLatelier
Location: , Portugal
Architect In Charge: Gabriela Gonçalves, Leonel Lopes
Design Team: José Doroana, Miguel Malaquias, Gary Barber
Year: 2014
Photographs: Courtesy of GGLL atelier

London’s Architectural Association Exhibits Futuristic Work of Jan Kaplický

© Jan Kaplický

Now on view at London’s Architectural Association, Jan Kaplický Drawings presents work by the Czech architect Jan Kaplický (1937-2009) – a visionary designer with a passion for drawing as a means of discovering, describing and constructing. Through drawing he presented beguiling architectural imagery of the highest order.

The earliest projects date from the early 1970s when, for Kaplický, drawing was essentially a speculative pursuit. Whilst his days were spent working for other architects, during evenings and weekends he designed and drew at home. His architecture at this time was the plan and the finely detailed cross-section. Never satisfied, he constantly developed and honed his graphic language, perfecting the technique of the cutaway isometric which became his trademark.

A preview of Kaplický’s drawings, after the break. 

The Cardinal / Modus Studio

© Timothy Hursley

Architects: Modus Studio
Location: 831 West Center Street, , AR 72701, USA
Principal Architect: Chris M. Baribeau, AIA
Area: 370605.0 ft2
Year: 2014
Photographs: Timothy Hursley