Harvard University in partnership with edX is offering an Online course on Architecture – and it is Absolutely Free !

What is the Course About ?

The Name of Course is : The Architectural Imagination

Learn fundamental principles of architecture — as an academic subject or a professional career — by studying some of history’s most important buildings.

Basic Details about this Course ?

  • Length : 10 Weeks
  • Effort : 3–5 hours per week
  • Price : FREE (Add a Verified Certificate for $99 USD)
  • Institution : HarvardX
  • Subject : Architecture
  • Level : Introductory
  • Language : English
  • Video Transcript : English

Course Description

Architecture engages a culture’s deepest social values and expresses them in material, aesthetic form. This course will teach you how to understand architecture as both cultural expression and technical achievement. Vivid analyses of exemplary buildings, and hands-on exercises in drawing and modeling, will bring you closer to the work of architects and historians.

The first part of the course introduces the idea of the architectural imagination. Perspective drawing and architectural typology are explored and you will be introduced to some of the challenges in writing architectural history.

Then we address technology as a component of architecture. You will discover ways that innovative technology can enable and promote new aesthetic experiences, or disrupt age-old traditions. Technological advances changed what could be built, and even what could even be thought of as architecture.

Finally, we’ll confront architecture’s complex relationship to its social and historical contexts and its audiences, achievements, and aspirations. You will learn about architecture’s power of representation and see how it can produce collective meaning and memory.

Architecture is one of the most complexly negotiated and globally recognized cultural practices, both as an academic subject and a professional career. Its production involves all of the technical, aesthetic, political, and economic issues at play within a given society. Join us as we examine how architecture engages, mediates, and expresses a culture’s complex aspirations.

What you’ll Learn ?

Architecture engages a culture’s deepest social values and expresses them in material, aesthetic form.

In this course, you will learn how to “read” architecture as a cultural expression as well as a technical achievement. Vivid analyses of exemplary buildings from a wide range of historical contexts, coupled with hands-on exercises in drawing and modeling, bring you close to the work of an actual architect or historian.

  • 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

Syllabus Breakdown of the Course

Part I: Form and History

  • Module 1: The Architectural Imagination: An Introduction
  • Module 2: Reading Architecture: Column and Wall
  • Module 3: Hegel and Architectural History
  • Module 4: Aldo Rossi and Typology

Part II: The Technology Effect

  • Module 5: The Crystal Palace: Infrastructure and Detail
  • Module 6: The Dialectics of Glass and Steel
  • Module 7: Technology Tamed: Le Corbusier’s Machines for Living

Part III: Representation and Context

  • Module 8: Drawing Utopia: Visionary Architecture of the 18th Century
  • Module 9: The Pompidou Center in the City of Paris
  • Module 10: Presenting the Unrepresentable

Who are the Instructors ?

Lisa Haber-Thomson
Instructor in Architecture
Harvard University

Erika Naginski
Professor of Architectural History
Harvard University

K. Michael Hays
Eliot Noyes Professor of Architectural Theory
Harvard University

Antoine Picon
G. Ware Travelstead Professor of the History of Architecture and Technolog
Harvard University

Associated School ?

The Associated school is the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Will you get a Certificate for this Course ?

The course is entirely free, but to get a Verified Certificate to highlight the knowledge and skills you gain costs $99.00.

  • Official and Verified
    Receive an instructor-signed certificate with the institution’s logo to verify your achievement and increase your job prospects
  • Easily Shareable
    Add the certificate to your CV or resume, or post it directly on LinkedIn
  • Proven Motivator
    Give yourself an additional incentive to complete the course
  • Support our Mission
    EdX, a non-profit, relies on verified certificates to help fund free education for everyone globally

Course Introduction Video?

Here is this Video in Youtube that will help you get the feel about this course and take the decision :

How do I contact the University for any Additional Questions ?

Click this link that takes you to Harvard University Website link for this course : https://online-learning.harvard.edu/course/architectural-imagination?category[]=1&sort_by=date_added&cost[]=free

How Do I Register for this Course ?

Check out this video and follow the steps to Enroll for this Course :

Click this link and Enroll yourself for this course :

Course Snapshots


If you want you can Audit this course and go through the entire course contents. However, This is time bounded and you will not be able to do the Exercises.

In case you are looking for Certificate post completion of this course, use the code EDXWELCOME and get 15% Discount – so you can get the Certificate in only $84.15 and not $99 !

End Notes

This looks like a great course, and looking at the content and the cost, it is certainly a must do in this period !

There are many other courses that you can check out on edX and even Udemy and improve your skill during this pandemic period !

Happy Learning !

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