Can I Learn Architecture On My Own


It is true that architecture is an incredibly complex subject and pursuing it without any formal education can seem daunting. It takes dedication and commitment to learn architecture on your own. Why would anyone want to take on such a task? There are several compelling reasons to make this commitment.
Firstly, for those passionate about architecture, it can be an immensely rewarding experience to complete a project that you designed and built by yourself. This can be a great way to develop your creative skills and push yourself to new heights. Secondly, for those who wish to pursue a career in architecture, a self-taught background will help to demonstrate your determination and dedication to the craft. Finally, independent learning is also highly cost effective compared to formal education and can enable you to get started quickly.

Where to Begin?

Getting started may seem difficult at first, especially when faced with the wide range of architecture materials available. However, it is vital to start off with the basics and undertake some thorough research. Understanding the fundamentals of design is essential and there are various sources available including courses, books, websites, and more.
For those starting out, learning the basics is key. This includes understanding structure, form, building materials, construction processes, and more. In addition, there is software available which can be utilised in the design process. This can be extremely beneficial for visualising a project, checking for structural stability, and for preparing for the construction process.

Advanced Study

Having grasped the basics, the next step is to understand architecture theory. Here, careful research and close reading are required. This theory is concerned with how to use and develop structures, how to use architecture to communicate ideas, how to design with sustainability in mind and how to produce a balanced structure. There are many resources available which can help with this, including a range of books, websites, and podcasts.
Additionally, it is possible to participate in online or in person courses which focus on advanced topics. These courses can be extremely beneficial for developing a deeper understanding of architecture, particularly in the areas of engineering, urban planning, and energy efficiency.


Understanding the theory of architecture is not enough. It is also important to apply this knowledge. Working on projects from scratch is an excellent way to test your newly acquired skills and produce tangible designs. When starting out, small projects are recommended. These can be anything from sketching designs, to building a garden shed or a model house. As a result, it is important to set achievable goals, and manage time and resources. Additionally, documenting ongoing projects is essential as this will help to track progress and review mistakes.
As your skills and experience grows, larger projects can be tackled, such as creating a full plan for a house or a small building. This will give you a sense of accomplishment and help to demonstrate the quality of your work.

Feedback and Critique

It is easy to become isolated and feel overwhelmed while learning architecture on your own. Thus, having someone to provide feedback and critique is invaluable. This can include anything from discussing ideas with friends and family to engaging with an experienced architect. Online forums also offer the opportunity for discussion and critique.
Moreover, competitions are a great way to gain feedback. Here, you can submit a project and share it with a wide audience. In addition, winning or even being shortlisted in these competitions can help to demonstrate your design skills and build a portfolio.


Networking is a core component of learning architecture. Participating in events and initiatives related to architecture can enable you to connect with potential employers, clients, and experts in the field. As a result, it is important to join online communities, attend seminars and open lectures, and to even volunteer in projects. Doing this will not only give you the opportunity to meet professionals, but it may also result in job prospects and opportunities.

Continuous Learning

Learning architecture is an ongoing process as new trends and technologies are constantly being developed. To stay ahead, it is essential to constantly review new developments, experiment with designs, and to continue researching. A great way to do this is to attend architecture events, research in libraries and archives, and join online forums. Additionally, finding an architecture mentor can be incredibly helpful in the long run.

How do you Affect the Environment?

When learning architecture, it is also important to understand the impact of architecture on the environment. This includes understanding the effects of different building materials, the ways to reduce energy consumption, and the impact of architecture design on the environment. Additionally, research can be done into green building materials,methods for reducing water usage and other ways to reduce the environmental impact of architecture.

The Digital Age

In the digital age, it is also important to explore the potential of the technology available. This includes utilizing digital tools in the design process, constructing digital models and utilizing 3D printing. Additionally, digital marketing and communication skills should also be developed, as they are essential in promoting and selling a project.

Understanding Building Regulations

Finally, when creating designs, it is essential to be aware of local building regulations. These regulations can vary widely depending on the country, state, and local authority and can affect the design of a building significantly. Therefore, it is vital to be aware of applicable regulations and to ensure that the design takes these into account.

Anita Johnson is an award-winning author and editor with over 15 years of experience in the fields of architecture, design, and urbanism. She has contributed articles and reviews to a variety of print and online publications on topics related to culture, art, architecture, and design from the late 19th century to the present day. Johnson's deep interest in these topics has informed both her writing and curatorial practice as she seeks to connect readers to the built environment around them.

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