I have no idea why this took me so long to stumble across (thanks Architexts.us) but as someone with a graduate degree in architecture and having taught two years of undergraduate level design studio (and some other misc. architecture/design classes) this excites me. One thing I missed working in various offices was discussion on theory, or the continuous learning/exposure to new ideas that occurred in the design studio environment. It just wasn’t a priority when everyone has kids to get home to and deadlines to meet (and we weren’t all fighting to be top of the class).
The idea that I can log onto architecture classes, for free, from various institutions and pedagogues is very exciting to me. I have taken some online courses for fun (urban mapping, marketing and digital tech) if only to exercise the grey matter a bit previously and can say that you get out what you put in (much like any university) and it is slightly more difficult as you have to push yourself to complete the tasks, especially when there really isn’t much of a punishment facing you for failure to complete or even perform well.
Of course nothing can replace a studio environment full of passionate and crazy people, trying to push the boundaries and discover the best and most clever solutions for design problems, but online access to lectures and classes fill the void when trapped in the Cad-pumping/Reviteering 9 to 5 job where talk of design is taboo and no one cares what the latest issue of Clog is about, or what university lectures are coming up. (this reminds me I need to re-up my subscription to Clog).
Anyway, ArchDaily published a list of online classes back in June : http://www.archdaily.com/515808/four-ways-to-learn-about-architecture-for-free-as-it-should-be/ with some very interesting potential classes to take, that I will probably explore as working for/by myself slightly removed me even further from a design studio environment. I did not honestly think that was entirely possible.
MIT open courseware offerings
These classes (I believe) are on a regular semester schedule, meaning you have to sign up in advance and follow the curriculum. They are not meant to solely be accessible at any time on a whim, they operate like actual classes. Something to keep in mind. The offerings look pretty diverse and could be a great resource for those of us who have been out of school for a while, to get a simple refresher course. Heck, if I had some folks in my employ I would probably have everyone pick a class and we would tackle them together at lunch time to spur some studio conversation.