The Architect’s Academy: Architecture School in 4 Hours


Becoming an Architect

It’s no secret that the process of becoming an Architect is long, complicated, expensive, and dare I say it… sometimes even exclusive.

Frequently people start architecture school, without thoroughly understanding what they are getting into. And later, they learn architecture just really isn’t for them.  Aside from reading a few books, there really is no great process to help you dive in and assess what architecture school is and if it’s something that would be good for you.

I recently learned about and attended Doug Patt’s, The Architect’s Academy, and I highly recommend this program to the Young Architect audience as a way to quickly learn more about architecture and design. It’s an excellent program for the following groups of people:

  • Maybe you’re interested in pursuing a career in Architecture or attending architecture school. It’s perfect for high school students and undecided majors.
  • “I love architecture and wanted to become an architect, but…”

If you’ve said this, this course would be fun for you, and you’ll learn a ton about design. The Architect’s Academy is an opportunity to understand and learn how to view the world from the Architect’s eye and way of thinking.

 Doug Patt The Architect’s Academy: Architecture School in 4 Hours Architecture Student

Who is Doug Patt?

I can’t talk about the Architect’s Academy without first introducing the Host of this architecture party: Doug Patt!

Doug Patt is a licensed practicing Architect, a classically trained Painter, a Designer of cool products, a Storyteller, a YouTube personality, an amazing architecture Teacher, and most importantly, a cool down to earth guy.  Doug practices in Greenwich, CT, mostly on high-end residential projects.

Doug first came onto my radar in 2010 when I became hooked on his How To Architect YouTube channel, and I have since watched all his videos.  I have always appreciated how Doug takes design and architecture back to its essence and how he explains everything in a very inclusive and simple way. Doug has mastered the art of clearly telling the story of architecture and making it simple and easy enough for a child to understand.

Since 2010, I have watched all of his YouTube videos, and even purchased his best-selling book appropriately titled: How To Architect.

Book Cover The Architect’s Academy: Architecture School in 4 Hours Architecture Student

When people come to me and tell me that they are kicking around the idea of becoming an architect (or say, “I always loved architecture and wanted to become an architect, but….”), I tell them to check out How To Architect as a great place to get started on learning about the basics of architecture.

The very last thing I want to say about Doug Patt, is that I have been obsessively studying architecture for 16 years, and I constantly learn new things every time I watch Doug’s videos. I had a ton of fun attending The Architect’s Academy and writing this review.

OK lets dive in and let me tell you about The Architect’s Academy that Doug has recently created.

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What Is The Architect’s Academy?

I think Doug’s very own description of The Architect’s Academy is better then I could ever come up with:

“It’s architecture school in 4 hours.”

The Architect’s Academy is an online course to help people get started learning more about the subject and profession of architecture.

In 4 hours Doug takes you through the process that Architect’s go through to design buildings. He discusses all the different moving parts, variables and uses many historic examples emphasize how architecture is a process.

Doug beautifully shares this very complicated topic in his inclusive and easy to follow style of teaching.

I have never seen another program like this, for people to learn more about architecture without committing the time or money of attending architecture school.

The Architect’s Academy is in no way a replacement for architecture school, but it’s an awesome way to learn a lot about architecture in a very short period of time at an affordable price.

The Architect’s Academy costs $198, vs $75,000 for architecture school. (And that’s what my architecture degree cost when I graduated in 2007.)

Architetect’s Academy is 4 hours long, vs 4 – 7 years for architecture school.

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What’s inside the Architect’s Academy?

Instead of chapters like a textbook, Patt has set up the academy in a series of videos. Each video has Doug giving a very animated lecture with pictures and an accompanying written outline.

Included with the course is the eBook version of Doug’s book: Architect.

After watching each lecture thoroughly, let me give you a quick rundown of what’s inside the Architect Academy.

Lecture 1 – The Critical Information You Need to Begin Designing

If you’re considering this Academy, then you’ve probably also considered how tricky it must be to know where to start when designing a building. Lecture 1 demystifies the roots of this process by covering the fundamental questions that every architect needs to answer at the beginning of any project.

The first lecture covers the first few questions, which essentially boil down to:

Who is the client? What are their requirements?

What type of building is being designed?

During the process of answering these questions, an Architect will be able to filter through the larger question: Why?

Screenshot 1 The Architect’s Academy: Architecture School in 4 Hours Architecture Student

Lecture 2 – Where Do Inspiration and Ideas Come From?

The second lecture explores the third fundamental question: Where? In depth, Patt pontificates on how the location of a site provides inspiration and ideas for designing a building.

The location reveals numerous insights about any building during its inception, including its topography, zoning, codes, and infrastructure. Doug does a fantastic job at explaining each of these terms.


Lecture 3 – The Mind: Why Do We Design the Way We Do, and How Do We Do It Better?

The answers to the three fundamental questions add up to the overall question, which is covered in Lecture 3: Why?

The third lecture also explores the different methods architects utilize to clarify their inspiration, the details of the design process, and the phases of working with a client.

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Lecture 4 – Great Architecture: Architects and the Profession

The fourth lecture examines great architectural achievements, such as Notre Dame and the Colosseum. It also looks at how to translate your inspiration into a real object, and how to make sure a client will understand why you’ve made the choices you have.

The Architect’s Academy Bonus Materials

The Academy also offers numerous bonus videos and materials, all of which include lectures and outlines. The bonuses are:

  • How to Make an Architecture Portfolio
  • Architectural Styles and Terminology
  • Time Management
  • Tips for Young Architects Getting Started

Other Architect’s Academy Course’s

Doug has created several other smaller courses at a lower price point, but if you purchase The Architect’s Academy, those will be included with your membership.

Here is a quick summary of Doug’s other courses:

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Could You Be an Architect Quiz

This course helps you figure out if you have the capacity to be an Architect. Like all professions, Architects need to have certain personality traits, innate characteristics, and predisposed interests.

The course goes on to help you assess the results of your quiz by laying out the qualities of an architect, then asking you questions to see if you possess those qualities.

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How to Write Like an Architect

Ever wonder how all blueprints seem to be in the same handwriting? In this section, Patt teaches you how to literally write like an Architect. Not write blog articles like an Architect—physically use a pen like an Architect.

He goes through every letter of the alphabet and illustrates how to form each character in the style of Architects.

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The Golden Rectangle

In this course, Patt provides exclusive videos detailing everything there is to know about The Golden Rectangle, including:

  • The Fibonacci Sequence
  • The Golden Ratio
  • How to Make Your Own Golden Rectangle
  • The Golden Rectangle in Architecture
  • The Derivative Rectangles

The Architect’s Academy: Architecture School in 4 Hours Architecture Student

Architecture: Make a Model

Do you want to find out how to design, draw, and make a simple house model?

These videos walk you through the process. You may not have ever considered how complex a roof can be or how a chimney and a window are connected.

If you have never built an architecture model before, but would love to learn what the process is and how model building works, this is a great place to start.

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How to Design Like an Architect

This introductory course will give you a glimpse into what the larger Architect’s Academy course provides. Over the course of 15 minutes It very briefly runs through and touches upon   many of the same topics that are discussed at length in the Architect’s Academy 4 hour course.

Who Is the Architect’s Academy Product For?

As I said earlier, I highly recommend The Architect’s Academy if you are you considering going to Architecture school, but you aren’t 100% sure it’s right for you.  The Academy is intended to provide a cost- and time-effective resource for people to assess if they want to attend Architecture school.

Are you interested in Architecture, but you don’t want to commit to Architecture school? Like auditing a course, there’s a lot of useful information included in the Academy for hobbyists of architecture.

Are you interested in working in the field of Architecture in some capacity, but you don’t think you’re cut out to actually be an Architect? The Academy (and the free quiz in particular) could help you assess if you’d be compatible working with Architects.

Who Isn’t this Product For?

I am a licensed Architect with a fancy architecture degree. I learned a ton of interesting things and had a great time taking this course.

However, an architecture student—who’s at the end of their education and is regularly studying these topics and having conversations about their experiences in school—may not get as much value from this course as everyone else.

But I think architecture students could still learn a lot from this program. If you’re not happy after 30 days, Doug offers a refund.

Pros of The Architect’s Academy

  • High Value

Doug offers a ton of value with how he shares his passion for architecture and design. This product is very well done.

  • The Multimedia Aspect

It’s scientifically proven that most people learn by receiving information in a variety of ways. If you see an image of a building while being told about it by the architect, you’re much more likely to retain the details of the building than if you were just told about it over the phone. Given that, The Architect’s Academy is set up as a very effective learning tool.

  • Cost-Effective

When you consider the thousands of dollars you could save by assessing whether or not Architecture school is right for you, the Academy is truly a bargain. Would you rather spend $200 to find out if want to be an Architect, or invest several thousand dollars—just to realize that you’ve committed to something that isn’t going to work out?

  • Time-Effective
    Consider the time you’ll save if you learn from the Academy that Architecture school isn’t right for you. In a few hours, you’ll have your answer. And you can complete the entire Academy from the comfort of your own home. That way, you won’t have to allot time to attending classes (including the preparation, commute, homework, and classes themselves), only to find that it’s not for you.

Cons of the Architect’s Academy

A Hidden Gem
I had been following Doug Patt for a long time and wasn’t familiar with the Architect’s Academy until he mentioned it to me one day when we were chatting about our internet architecture projects. I see this as a highly valuable resource for future architecture students and people interested in learning more about architecture and how Architects think.

Here is a link to the Doug Patt’s The Architect’s Academy


Michael Riscica

Michael Riscica is a Licensed Architect, Founder and Head Coach of the ARE Boot Camp Coaching Program & Online Study Group.

Hi I’m Michael Riscica.

My goal is to help as many people as I can PASS their exams and succeed in their architecture careers.

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