Thursday, October 6, 2016

school is cool

MIT rolled out a free, global architecture class  through online course platform edX on 14 September, which yours truly enrolled herself into. I can't say enough positive things about it.

If you have interest in architecture but are not going to commit yourself to the 5 to 7 1/2 years of schooling that most professional degrees require, then this is for you. Actually, even if you have a professional degree, this is for you.

In my undergraduate degree program, the architectural history courses were focused almost exclusively on European architecture. After we left Egypt, we only briefly toured Japan, and then spent the next twenty centuries in Europe. I recall my bemusement when studying the Alhambra in Granada, and wondering why there weren't more of the beautiful Moorish forms in the history book.

This is a well put together course, with a syllabus for the 12 classes on offer, reading list, and online discussion forum. The instructor is MIT Professor of History and Theory of Architecture Mark Jarzombek (who began his career at Cornell while I was a student), and the course is based around four topics: the history and context of the important buildings that shaped our culture, history of technological advances that significantly impacted the development of architecture, impacts of certain cultural and religious traditions on architecture, and history of climate and geographical changes that shaped human civilization and its architecture.

After registering for my course, I looked around the edX website and discovered many other interesting topics from a wide variety of disciplines. Here's just a sampling:
I feel like I won the lottery. I just found a way to fulfill by dream of being a lifelong student. 

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