Architecture is something that contains multitudes of perspectives when one tends to describe it. Some embrace it delicately, like art, and some use it to enhance the definitive attributes of the world we reside within. Some days, architecture seems to be a long, and relatively an intricate path to endure, and while on other days it helps us experience, learn, and enlighten in several subjects that fall under its domain. During five years of obtaining a bachelor’s degree, an architect becomes open to various probabilities and hence is capable of performing all tasks at hand; from conceptualizing to planning, designing, developing, presenting, communicating, and supervising the imagination of their making. Despite being one of the many demanding professions to pursue, architecture also guides and influences us to discover dexterities that might be non-architectural.
The global coronavirus pandemic has provided all us – architecture students and graduates life-changing views and decisions. As this pandemic outgrows, the world continues to adjust their living standards and educational norms. It is stipulated with opportunities like that of online courses in various fields of interests, even for architecture students.
Here is a list of non-architectural series for the architecture students to help pique their interest in, and gain knowledge of a different field.
1. Online Writing/Journalism Courses:
Architecture is a collaboration, an order not simple. This collaboration brings out complexities – deeply interconnected with innately beautiful forms and patterns that provide experiences of a lifetime. How does writing and journalism help enhance this experience you ask? An architect is a communicator that speaks volumes through their designs. To communicate one’s thoughts and concepts, one would need to write on different platforms like writing project descriptions for your websites, scripting for brand development, writing for articles in magazines, speeches, etc.
To enhance your journaling skills, many universities like the University of Michigan, University of Colorado Boulder, University of Pennsylvania, etc., offer online courses for the same. In India, the architecture chat team in collaboration with Tanya Khanna from Epistle Communications have started conducting an online architectural writing and journalism course, which touches on various subjects for writing in architecture and helps explain career prospects in the same.
2. Introduction to Psychology:
As quoted by Norman Foster in The European, “Architecture is an expression of values – the way we build is a reflection of the way we live,” it becomes highly essential for an architect to understand what goes on in an individual’s mind to retrospect and design accordingly. Programs like the introduction to human psychology provide a comprehensive overview of the scientific study of thought, behaviour, perception, etc. Exploring basics like communication, learning abilities, emotional values and social behaviour help comprehend aspects of the human mind and how it differs across different people, which eventually help recognize the necessities and requirements of the client, bringing out better-designing senses. Various universities across the globe, like the University of Yale, the University of Toronto, etc., offer a series of online courses for the same.
3. The Science of Everyday Thinking:
Architects do not only deal with designing daily – they comparatively communicate with people more. Talking to clients, contractors, employees, and many more individuals and taking decisions that fulfil the needs as well as the design can prove to be a task. It is imperative to understand the kind of decision one makes, and the perception one follows. The Science of Everyday Thinking is a program which teaches you to learn how to think and choose better. The course helps to improve critical and sceptical thinking, and values data and personal experience to do the same. The curriculum is offered online by many institutions like The University of Queensland, University of Pennsylvania, etc.
4. Introduction to Public Speaking:
If you are still in the process of completing bachelors, or have accomplished the hauling and now work, or have started your practice, it is imperative that you rightly deliver what you design. Public speaking skills are crucial, whether it is while you give your jury, or while providing a presentation to your client. Many online platforms, like Udemy, and schools like the University of Washington, University of Houston, etc., provide participants with the prospect of learning the art of Public Speaking through video courses and assignments that help boost your confidence and verbally converse your thoughts in an articulate sense. Other famous authors like Sarah Llyod Hughes, the best-selling author of ‘How to be Brilliant at Public Speaking’ provides a free six-week online course where the lessons focus on the qualities that one should press on to communicate distinctly.
5. Courses on Critical Thinking and Analysis:
Critical thinking and analysis is a core skill that helps artists, creatives, and individuals from every professional field to initiate, question, and reflect on issues presented to them. It is imperative to examine a situation first to reason and answer later. Given the current scenario, the field of architecture is going through a lot of fluctuations and needs critically thought approaches and convictions to assist humankind step into a new era. Futuristic embellishments should never be thought of from a particular point of view but should take into account several scenarios, and critical thinking and analysis help do the same. Many platforms, like Oneistox, Udemy, etc., provide workshops that expand for 5-6 weeks, and colleges like the University of California, help engage individuals in activities that strengthen their critical thinking abilities.
6. Introduction to PR-Communication and Marketing:
Public Relations, Communication, Marketing Strategies, and Advertising are the pillars every business stands on to aware the common man about the technologies, new progressions, projects in and around the globe. Similarly, when talking about architecture, one needs to strategize and implement a plan which helps them grow their work, and make their services accessible in every nook and corner of the world. A determined hold over marketing strategies helps not only the company/firm/practitioner to be known but helps grow a market where people can reach them. Not to forget, in these obstinate times, digital media and marketers have developed and propagated technologies that provide businesses with a diverse new set of tools to reach, monitor and respond to the clientele in an unprecedented manner.
Courses provided in University of Illinois, Northwestern University, etc., helps individuals comprehend deeper processes and the role of various digital channels in integrated marketing communication.
7. Web Design – Strategy and Information Architecture:
Designing an abreast website that is responsive to its consumers is vital, especially in a profession like architecture, where one configures for the user. It is necessary to translate your design ideas, thoughts, and perceptions onto a platform/website that will help nurture and grow your market. The course of web designing is principally focused on challenges of planning, setting goals, understanding the user, structuring content, and developing interactive sequences. Universities across the globe, like the California Institute of Arts, grant a series of online courses for the same.
8. Introduction to Gaming Design and Character Designing:
Also offered by the California Institutes of Arts, the following study is for all the individuals with a keen interest in playing and designing video games. Matthew Hoffman, co-founder of Blank Space, in his interview said, “Architecture is an untapped source of magnificent stories waiting to be imagined, visualized, and built,” which stands correctly when also talking about gaming design. A game is a package that consists of a story, graphics, followed by a site with intact potential, waiting to be discovered. In this course, people will explore concepts and approaches involved in creating the location and placement of the same, as well as the characters applied to video games.
9. Innovation and Entrepreneurship:
It is vital to recognize the condition of the industry, and the macroeconomic changes that happen before one commences a business (even if it is an architectural firm). Such programs and studies lead us to understand entrepreneurial ideas, creative business models which subsequently help an individual set up their practice, and it can be anything. Crafting a financial model that minimizes risk, leading a well-comprised team, learning about the new technological advancements, etc., are a few of the topics covered under the following.
Institutes like the University of Illinois, University of Maryland, Harvard, MIT, etc., provide opportunities for online classes on various levels.
10. Introduction to Understanding Research Methods:
During architecture, students go through a lot of researching, primarily during their dissertation and thesis. It is quintessential to understand different methods of researching because not only in architecture but the art of researching comes in handy in every other profession. SOAS, University of London offers the following online course, which is a program consisting of robust and challenging discussions and exercises that enhance your fundamentals and skills of doing research. Understanding various Research Methods is an ability that can also be utilised for further doctoral studies and other professional endeavours.
- Introduction to Research Methods, Online Courses , https://www.coursera.org/learn/research-methods
- Web Designing, online, https://www.coursera.org/learn/web-design-strategy
- Game and Character Designing, Online courses, https://www.coursera.org/learn/game-character-design
- Innovative and Entrepreneurship, online courses https://www.coursera.org/browse/business/entrepreneurship
- Marketing and Communication, Online courses https://www.coursera.org/courses?query=integrated%20marketing%20communications
- Thinking critically in architecture, https://www.coursera.org/courses?query=critical%20thinking
The science of everyday thinking https://www.edx.org/course/the-science-of-everyday-thinking
Health and Psychology, Online Courses https://www.coursera.org/browse/health/psychology