Harvard to offer free online architecture course

The Harvard Graduate School of Design is launching a web-based course that offers architectural education at no cost.

The Architectural Imagination course will allow students to "learn fundamental principles of architecture — as an academic subject or a professional career — from a study of history's important buildings", according to the website.

Spread over 10 modules, the programme is intended to be taken over the same number of weeks.

The first part will focus on form and history, the second on technology, and the third on representation and context.

Skills including architectural drawing and model making will be taught through a series of video presentations and hands-on exercises.

"In this course, you will learn how to 'read' architecture as a cultural expression as well as a technical achievement," says the description.

Participants will not earn any credentials, however a certificate of completion will be available to purchase for $99 (£79).

The programme is authored by faculty members at the university in Cambridge, Massachusetts: architectural theory professor K Michael Hays; architectural history professor Erika Naginski; and history of architecture and technology professor Antoine Picon.

It is hosted on an online platform named edX, which also carries courses from MIT, ETH Zurich and the University of Tokyo.

Enrollment is available now, for a 28 February 2017 start date.

Harvard is one of the world's most revered universities, and its architecture school placed fifth in an international ranking last year.

Its students and graduates have completed a wide variety of projects, from tiny vacation houses for stressed-out city dwellers to a temporary pavilion made from architectural models.


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