About this online course


The Image

Course video

Physical and digital design skills are key to practitioners in art, design, and engineering, as well as many other creative professions. Models are essential in architecture. In design practice all kinds of physical scale models and digital models are used side by side.

In this architecture course, you will gain experience that will help and inspire you to advance in your personal and professional development. You will attain skills in a practical way. First, we will focus on sketch models for the early stages of a design process, then we will continue with virtual representations for design communication and finally more precise and detailed models will be used for further development of the ideas.

In the theoretical part of the course, you will learn about many different sorts of models: how architects use these and how they are essential in the design process.

The practical part of the course addresses a number of challenges. In small steps we will guide you through technical and creative difficulties in exciting, playful, and pleasant ways.

What you'll learn:

  • Creative Thinking: learn how to develop an architectural idea by using physical and digital models.
  • Design Knowledge: explore 'the concept of scale' to relate to context and to further develop details.
  • Learning by Doing: experiment to get a sense for spatial composition, materials and ergonomics.
  • Digital Technology: experience the potential of Virtual and Augmented Reality in architectural design.


Course Syllabus

Week 1: Your Dream House
Create a simple scale model for your dream house.

Week 2: Models OF & Models FOR

Create and present a 3D digital model of your scale model by using photogrammetry.

Week 3: Scale & Context
Create a simple scale model of the setting of your dream house and make a 360-degree background image.

Week 4: Scale & Detail
Create a simple CAD model for a detail of your dream house and present it with annotations.

Week 5: The Whole Picture
Develop a presentation blog with images and an embedded 3D model or a link to your online 3D model.

Week 6: Your Model Exhibition
Pose questions to your fellow learners. Take on the role of the client, while they serve as the architects – and the other way around.

Though all six steps may sound challenging, the course instructions will guide you through and build your confidence.

You will need some simple tools like scissors, glue and scrap materials. To develop the digital models, we selected free software that runs on a laptop or desktop computer. You will also need a smartphone with a camera.


This is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) that runs on edX.


Secondary school. Some basic skills with computer software.

  • Starts: Anytime (Self-Paced)
  • Free
  • Length: Self-Paced
  • Effort: 4 - 6 hours per week / 6 weeks

Related courses and programs