A Global History of Architecture

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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
24467 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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8/10 starsTaking Now
6 years, 2 months ago
This course is worth spending time on,i choose this course because i live in a place which has historical places people come to visit from around the world.
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Pelin K

10/10 starsTaking Now
6 years, 8 months ago
This was a very fulfilling course which helped me see architecture and our connections today to early societies in a new light. I am sorry to find out that the archives have been removed before I could finish the course. I hope it will be opened again soon.
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8/10 starsCompleted
6 years, 10 months ago
The best history/architecture class out there, providing you with a real grasp of *global* history, everything tied-in and connected, not disjointed like many history courses. Great teacher, though the exams are a little easy.
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10/10 starsCompleted
6 years, 11 months ago
This was a wonderful course - everybody should try and do it. It was fun, mind broadening and enlightening. Good pace, no time to get bored. As well as a quirky and amusing lecturer with good course materials (I'd have liked a little broader camera coverage, to see what he was pointing at), the forum was an entertainment in its own right, with topics pouring in from all around the globe. I was enthralled throughout.
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10/10 starsCompleted
7 years ago
amazing course! I'd like to have the 2nd part!
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10/10 starsCompleted
7 years, 1 month ago
Excellent course. Mark Jarzombek is dripping with enthusiasm for this material and it's contagious. Very compelling, vibrant and human lecturer. The course is carefully crafted, giving you insight into the greater picture/movements of period. This helps create a context which gives the architecture discussed meaning. It has also opened me up to the notions of architecture beyond the strictly functional and it's rooting in abstraction. Really opened my eyes, Great stuff.
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9/10 starsCompleted
7 years, 1 month ago
I was expecting more architecture and less social history, that's not really a negative though, it was fascinating! As the other reviewers, I'd really like to take Part 2, does it exist?
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10/10 starsCompleted
7 years, 2 months ago
I took this course last year and was fascinated from beginning to end and have been impatiently waiting to take Part 2. When will that be ? Please don't leave us hanging.
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8/10 starsCompleted
7 years, 2 months ago
I love architecture, although I.m a Chemistry. This course interested me because it will analyse the human development through the lens fo the architecture.
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8/10 starsCompleted
7 years, 2 months ago
I did this course the year before and it is really great! Professor Jarzombek helps you a lot through the course to understand the lessons and I learned so much. I already had knowledges about architecture, but there is no problem if you do not, because you start from the basics and it is easy to follow the progress. If English is not your mother tongue, do not worry. It is really easy to follow the lessons with the subtitles if you struggle with the pronunciation. Absolutely recommendable. I am looking forwars Part 2!
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10/10 starsCompleted
7 years, 3 months ago
The most interesting and intriguing MOOC I had attended so far! Prof.Jarzombek is great and the knowledge unique! I am waiting for part 2, but I would gladly retake part 1.
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10/10 starsCompleted
7 years, 3 months ago
The first MOOC that I participated in start to finish. The staff is friendly and accessible, and the course material (as well as the forum discussions) were lively and interesting. Hoping for a Part 2 someday!
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10/10 starsCompleted
7 years, 3 months ago
I attended Part 1 last year and was the most fascinating course I've ever taken! Can't wait for Part 2.
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9/10 starsCompleted
7 years, 3 months ago
An interesting and engaging class. It seems to include elements of anthropology; the focus is not just on the buildings, but on how people interact with and "activate" them. The approach is non-linear but accessible. The professor is passionate about the topic and the videos are lively, incorporating elements such as snapshots from his trips and videos of some of these buildings' uses. I look forward to taking Part 2 and hope it's coming up soon.
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10/10 starsCompleted
7 years, 4 months ago
Is there gonna be a second part? because I did the first when it came out and was really good, I would love to see the second.
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10/10 starsCompleted
7 years, 4 months ago
This was my first edx course and remains my favourite. The lectures were engaging, thought-provoking and induced me to look at how the buildings around me inform my psychogeography. An absolutely fantastic course. I keep looking for part 2, but so far it's not happened.
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10/10 starsCompleted
7 years, 4 months ago
This course was tremendously informative and entertaining. The connections between architecture in widely separated places and different times were fascinating. I don't know what, if any, changes have been made since the first offering of this course, but it was good the first time. I am eagerly awaiting Part 2.
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10/10 starsCompleted
7 years, 5 months ago
This course was my first course I took at EDX and I loved it. Mark Jarzombek know how to teach students and keep them interested. I would like to take a second part of this course.
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10/10 starsCompleted
  • 138 reviews
  • 119 completed
6 years, 2 months ago
This is an amazing course that doesn't just provide a history of architecture, it provides an excellent history of civilization as it evolved around the world. Mark Jarzombek has an excellent teaching style that easily takes you through a general overview of a history of the human development by studying the structures we built and why. Mark's humorous style is fun and easy to follow and in the end very insightful.
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10/10 starsCompleted
  • 6 reviews
  • 6 completed
7 years, 4 months ago
First MOOC course I tried and that is me now hooked. Architecture was a completely new area to me and at the beginning I was somewhat daunted by the prospect of tackling this after being out of education for many years. However, the course is well organised and presented and it was easy to get into the swing of online learning. Professor Jarzombek is an excellent lecturer and I found myself eagerly looking forward to the next lecture. The course itself is categorized as “architecture” but in putting each subject into context Professor Jarzombek also does an excellent job in providing insight into the history of mankind. Giving this a 4.5 out of 5 as it is my first course and hence nothing to compare it to. If other MOOC courses turn out to be as engaging I will be well pleased.Several MOOC later and I can update this course to a full 5 stars.  I see it is starting again in Sep 14 and I am tempted to join again but would really like t... First MOOC course I tried and that is me now hooked. Architecture was a completely new area to me and at the beginning I was somewhat daunted by the prospect of tackling this after being out of education for many years. However, the course is well organised and presented and it was easy to get into the swing of online learning. Professor Jarzombek is an excellent lecturer and I found myself eagerly looking forward to the next lecture. The course itself is categorized as “architecture” but in putting each subject into context Professor Jarzombek also does an excellent job in providing insight into the history of mankind. Giving this a 4.5 out of 5 as it is my first course and hence nothing to compare it to. If other MOOC courses turn out to be as engaging I will be well pleased.Several MOOC later and I can update this course to a full 5 stars.  I see it is starting again in Sep 14 and I am tempted to join again but would really like to see some progress with Part 2.
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8/10 starsCompleted
7 years, 11 months ago
A fascinating thesis and overview of cultures and civilizations as seen through their architecture, focusing on some lesser known sites and monuments. I found Mark Jarzombek to be somewhat awkward, however his lectures and images provide a great framework for looking at architecture worldwide. For more specifics I'm now taking Ohio State's History of Architecture with Jacqueline Gargas.
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10/10 starsCompleted
  • 2 reviews
  • 2 completed
7 years, 11 months ago
I had no prior experience with architecture (though quite a lot with history, sociology and philosophy) and I really only enrolled to be my husband's study- buddy while he was taking it, but absolutely loved the course. Professor Jarzombek's lectures were massively informative, entertaining and thought- provoking. I'm now pacing the halls waiting for part 2 to be announced.
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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.