A Global History of Architecture

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9/10 stars
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edX online courses
Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just some of the schools that you have at your fingertips with edX. Through massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world's best universities, you can develop your knowledge in literature, math, history, food and nutrition, and more. These online classes are taught by highly-regarded experts in the field. If you take a class on computer science through Harvard, you may be tau...
Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just some of the schools that you have at your fingertips with edX. Through massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world's best universities, you can develop your knowledge in literature, math, history, food and nutrition, and more. These online classes are taught by highly-regarded experts in the field. If you take a class on computer science through Harvard, you may be taught by David J. Malan, a senior lecturer on computer science at Harvard University for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. But there's not just one professor - you have access to the entire teaching staff, allowing you to receive feedback on assignments straight from the experts. Pursue a Verified Certificate to document your achievements and use your coursework for job and school applications, promotions, and more. EdX also works with top universities to conduct research, allowing them to learn more about learning. Using their findings, edX is able to provide students with the best and most effective courses, constantly enhancing the student experience.

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Sciences & Technology
Business & Management
22214 reviews

Course Description

How do we understand architecture? One way of answering this question is by looking through the lens of history, beginning with First Societies and extending to the 16th century. This course in architectural history is not intended as a linear narrative, but rather aims to provide a more global view, by focusing on different architectural "moments."

How did the introduction of iron in the ninth century BCE impact regional politics and the development of architecture? How did new religious formations, such as Buddhism and Hinduism, produce new architectural understandings? What were the architectural consequences of the changing political landscape in northern Italy in the 14th century? How did rock-cut architecture move across space and time from West Asia to India to Africa? How did the emergence of corn impact the rise of religious and temple construction in Mexico?

Each lecture analyzes a particular architectural transformat...

How do we understand architecture? One way of answering this question is by looking through the lens of history, beginning with First Societies and extending to the 16th century. This course in architectural history is not intended as a linear narrative, but rather aims to provide a more global view, by focusing on different architectural "moments."

How did the introduction of iron in the ninth century BCE impact regional politics and the development of architecture? How did new religious formations, such as Buddhism and Hinduism, produce new architectural understandings? What were the architectural consequences of the changing political landscape in northern Italy in the 14th century? How did rock-cut architecture move across space and time from West Asia to India to Africa? How did the emergence of corn impact the rise of religious and temple construction in Mexico?

Each lecture analyzes a particular architectural transformation arising from a dynamic cultural situation. Material covered in lectures will be supplemented by readings from the textbook A Global History of Architecture.

Join us on a journey around the globe and learn how architecture has developed and interacted with the world’s culture, religion, and history.

Reviews 9/10 stars
52 Reviews for A Global History of Architecture

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Rankings are based on a provider's overall CourseTalk score, which takes into account both average rating and number of ratings. Stars round to the nearest half.

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Ayushi Agarwal profile image
Ayushi Agarwal profile image

Ayushi Agarwal

10/10 starsCompleted
2 years, 6 months ago
This course changed my perspective of looking at history as a boring lengthy subject. The professor's way of teaching the subject kept the entire course very interesting and light. The content was crisp, precise yet detailed. I loved the entire duration of this course and open up the archived material whenever i come across familiar topics. It was an amazing learning experience and wish for further continuations of this course!
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Kathie Bailey profile image
Kathie Bailey profile image

Kathie Bailey

10/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 6 months ago
This is one of my favorite EdX classes of all time. The content, pacing, teaching, and visual aids are all outstanding. I loved how the class tied together architecture with history, economics, and religious development. I find this "tie it all together" approach very meaningful. One funny story related to the course: One week one of the featured buildings was in Turkey. When I saw it, I recognized it immediately as a place I had visited several years earlier. During my visit, the building had been very briefly described as "an important caravan stop." During the course, I learned it had been a MAJOR caravan stop and a MAJOR trading location. I wish I'd know all that history during my visit!
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Juliette Culver profile image
Juliette Culver profile image

Juliette Culver

10/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 8 months ago
Just want to say how much I have enjoyed this course - Mark Jarzombek is extremely engaging and the content has been fascinating. Totally changed how I look at architecture. If you are wondering whether to take it, then do!
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Richard Reddy profile image
Richard Reddy profile image

Richard Reddy

10/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 9 months ago
This course is a universe by itself, filled with fascinating excursions into forgotten worlds, a crisp and factual presentation, and compelling insight into the gestalt of architecture and it's development over a few millennia. On the surface this might sound like an impossible chore, but the picture is quite clear. This is a unique and delightful course that is immensely rich in historical insight and cultural context. I like to do architectural photography and also found the course useful in understanding modern architecture.
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Huzaifa Abbas profile image
Huzaifa Abbas profile image

Huzaifa Abbas

10/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 11 months ago
Really great professor. It starts off pretty boring with the history of first societies bu gets more intersting over the coming weeks.
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Caroline Kiernan profile image
Caroline Kiernan profile image

Caroline Kiernan

10/10 starsCompleted
2 years, 2 months ago
One of the best online courses I have ever taken. It completely changed my approach to and thought process about the history of architecture, and it was presented in such a fun, clear and engaging way. Thank you for making this available!
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student

10/10 starsCompleted
2 years, 4 months ago
This is easily one of the best courses I've ever taken and I'd recommend it to everyone. At first I thought it will be more about architecture, but in the end it's more like a global overview of everything, with architecture as a spine. If you like history, anthropology, ethnology... you will also love this course. Not to mention Prof. Jarzombek, one of the most passionate and funny instructors I've ever encountered in my 4 years of taking MOOCs. It's well structured and paced and long enough not to feel to basic and introductory. I started watching the videos when it was already almost finished, so I'm really looking forward for another sessions so I can try to get a certificate too.
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Daniela Schiavolin profile image
Daniela Schiavolin profile image

Daniela Schiavolin

10/10 starsCompleted
2 years, 5 months ago
I loved this course, it is very interesting and to that who says that it's only about anthropology and dropped the course after the first weeks, I reply that of course it is ALSO about anthropology because architecture is one of the many points of view from which we can study the human being. Professor Jarzombek is very nice and enthusiastic and I do hope there are many like him in the schools and universities around the world because that's the right way to teach. I do recommend this course. I've learned a lot about the story of architecture around the world and in my country, Italy, and now I consider buildings in a different way. Thank you to everybody for this wonderful course.
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Aishwarya Pilleti profile image
Aishwarya Pilleti profile image

Aishwarya Pilleti

9/10 starsCompleted
2 years, 6 months ago
This course has taught me how Cultures impacted Architecture and also why it is important to preserve the buildings . It has also made me realize that we look at and embrace architecture as it ultimately represents who we are through materials, shapes and colors to qualities as subtlety, strength and intelligence.
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Thibaut Delelis profile image
Thibaut Delelis profile image

Thibaut Delelis

10/10 starsTaking Now
2 years, 6 months ago
What an interesting course. A bit hard to understand where it is going at first, but then it become so fascinating. The teacher is so passionate, wish I had one like this at some point in my education.
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T B profile image
T B profile image

T B

2/10 starsDropped
2 years, 8 months ago
Watched the first few weeks of this course then dropped it. Very disappointed in the content. It is supposed to be about the history of architecture but it was almost all about anthropology and the history of early migration and culture. Can't waste any more time on this course.
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Luciano Danieli profile image
Luciano Danieli profile image

Luciano Danieli

10/10 starsTaking Now
2 years, 9 months ago
un raggio di luce nella grotta della preistoria per capire cosa è realmente accaduto migliaia di anni fa in tante parti del mondo e un esperienza stupefacente che mette in evidenza i limiti di una storia insegnata all'Università che comincia con i greci ed i romani
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Fernanda Regina profile image
Fernanda Regina profile image

Fernanda Regina

10/10 starsTaking Now
2 years, 9 months ago
Olá! Gostei muito da proposta do curso. Sou do Brasil e gostaria de saber se é possível assistir as aulas com legenda. Aguardo
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Laura B profile image
Laura B profile image

Laura B

10/10 starsCompleted
2 years, 10 months ago
Amazing MOOC, one of the first I took, and also one of the best. A great approach to global architecture.
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Nick Rowan profile image
Nick Rowan profile image

Nick Rowan

10/10 starsTaking Now
2 years, 12 months ago
This is one of the most fascinating courses I have ever taken. It is not simply a history of architecture, but of humanity, societies and culture. I travel regularly, and cam honestly say that this course has enriched my experiences in understanding how certain societies developed. A fantastic course.
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luciano Dnieli profile image
luciano Dnieli profile image

luciano Dnieli

10/10 starsDropped
3 years, 1 month ago
wonderful, a huge part of the program is uncovered by any classic architecture history courses and instructor is a wise teacher
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Maysan Al Chawa profile image
Maysan Al Chawa profile image

Maysan Al Chawa

8/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 1 month ago
it was such an informative course and very interesting topics were brought up . it gave me n better vision towards how to look at history of architecture and how to teach it to my students.
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student profile image
student profile image

student

8/10 starsTaking Now
3 years, 3 months ago
hello eveybody, architecture has always been fascinating to me as IT MAKES ME WANT TO DREAM.it's makes me marvel and dream about the creative innovation there has been and there will be. for me it's not just knowledge, its wisdom and growth of possibilities i gain from this course. i'm a medical student and would love to integrate ideas from this course, but unfortunately i see that the enrollment is closed. i kindly request everybody to please reopen this course for me and the future learners. we will be greatly obliged. thanking you,
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sleman fakher profile image
sleman fakher profile image

sleman fakher

8/10 starsTaking Now
3 years, 3 months ago
i am enthusiastic to learn and improve my self in both things that i love.. the english language and the architecture... i think it will be an amazing audition
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Vincent Rodrigues profile image
Vincent Rodrigues profile image

Vincent Rodrigues

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 3 months ago
It's probably the best mooc I ever took. The way its given is completely fluid and natural, it flows very well. The Professor Mark Jarzombek is adorable and enthusiastic, its like you would be on the real class. I recommend to by the book even for personal education. Conclusio : its a top mooc ! enjoy it !
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Kathie B profile image
Kathie B profile image

Kathie B

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 5 months ago
Thirty years ago, I took a 2-year long humanities course that examined art, music, literature, history, politics, philsophy, economics, and architecture from Greek and Roman times through the 20th century. I loved it, and had missed that approach in learning. This course takes a similar approach: architecture, politics, and economics all get considered together. This EdX course was fascinating, and one of the best I have taken. The professor is lively and engaging, and material fascinating. He even used a site in Turkey that I had visited 2 years ago when I had no idea of the significance of the building. I wish I'd taken this course sooner!
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Chelsea H profile image
Chelsea H profile image

Chelsea H

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 5 months ago
This class was excellent. The professor is very passionate about what he is teaching, and he really opens your mind to many things. At the end of this course you will feel that you understand more about us as human beings. You will learn about so many interesting places that will most likely be new to you. This course is very interactive and I a lot of fun! I highly recommend it.
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Nicole Sleilaty profile image
Nicole Sleilaty profile image

Nicole Sleilaty

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 6 months ago
What can be said about this course? Informative, insightful, smart, entertaining! Professor Jarzombek presents much more than architecture and goes beyond history to give us a better understanding of the present. It is a journey not to miss!!!
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Noële Belluard-Blondel profile image
Noële Belluard-Blondel profile image

Noële Belluard-Blondel

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 6 months ago
I loved this course. It was a fantastic trip throughout the world and through time. Professor Mark Jarzombek is a great lecturer. His sense of humor and all his anecdots made the course particularly pleasant, interesting and exciting! A wonderful experience and a fascinating adventure, in a word!
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Roman Bulgachev profile image
Roman Bulgachev profile image

Roman Bulgachev

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 6 months ago
I have just completed the course taught by Prof. Jarzombek. I think this was the best course I have ever taken. If I did this 20 years ago, I'm convinced I would have chosen history of architecture or history of art as my future career. Prof. Jarzombek has a unique manner of very passionate and humorous teaching, I've enjoyed every bit of it and I feel sad that the course came to its end. I hope Prof. Jarzombek would consider doing another course, starting where he finished and continuing to our age. Thank you very much!
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Elisa Vilares profile image
Elisa Vilares profile image

Elisa Vilares

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 8 months ago
This was a very low tech MOOC and the best one I took, just because Jarzombek is an amazing teacher. This course takes an anthropologic view on the global experiences and development of architecture, in such a rich way that has persisted in my mind, provoking enduring reflections...
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Yaroslava Korchagina profile image
Yaroslava Korchagina profile image

Yaroslava Korchagina

10/10 starsTaking Now
3 years, 8 months ago
This course is just great! I highly recommend it to everybody interested in the topic! It worth your time
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Paul Hundal profile image
Paul Hundal profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 138 reviews
  • 119 completed
3 years, 9 months ago
I took this course last year and it is one of the best MOOCs I have taken. Through the history of architecture you learn far more than expected on the development of civilization since they are inextricably linked. The professor has an excellent teaching style, very easy to follow. I strongly recommend this course.
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Maysan Chawa profile image
Maysan Chawa profile image

Maysan Chawa

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 9 months ago
Highly recommend this course. It gave me not only good information about the subject but helped as an instructor of interior design to configure and plan the history course i taught. Also, looks good on my cv !
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Bob Braunstein profile image
Bob Braunstein profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 7 reviews
  • 7 completed
3 years, 10 months ago
The scope of this course is almost all of history up to the Renaissance and the instructor's grasp of this is quite amazing. Not perfect, but still amazing. Took this course a while ago, and I've been amazed at how often bits and pieces of it still come back to me in conversations about a wide variety of topics. The connectedness of world and its architecture is brought out in spades. I've taken about 90 MOOCs at this point and I'd have to say that this class is definitely one of the better ones. I don't often write reviews, but I highly recommend this one if you want a well rounded background.
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