It’s Sunday, and it’s raining. Spending time on YouTube is inevitable – but wasting time isn’t! There are thousands of channels dedicated to architecture, with videos ranging from focused tutorials to general discussions. You can always find something new to learn but with so much content being uploaded all the time, how do you pick out the crème de la crème? That’s where we come in!
In this article, we round up the best YouTube channels for architecture in English (and some with no talking at all). Creators come from the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Brazil, so there’s something for everyone. Let us guide you through…
The Best YouTube Channels for Architecture…
We’ve picked out 12 channels that we can’t stop watching, then added three for luck (and they’re listed alphabetically, not in order of preference). We hope you enjoy these as much as we do.
30X40 Design Workshop is an architectural practice on Mount Desert Island, off the coast of Maine in the United States, which focuses on residential buildings. It (and the associated YouTube channel) is run by Eric Reinholt, who is also the author of a series of books called Architect + Entrepreneur. The content on Reinholt’s channel is varied, including tutorials on specific skills and more general advice videos, for example on how to improve your portfolio.
It’s been running since April 2013, with videos released monthly, so there are already over 200 to browse, with run times of two minutes to half an hour or more. If you enjoy Reinholt’s video content, you can also read his blog posts here.
2. Archi Hacks
Archi Hacks is made by Canadian Bennett Oh, who has previously worked at OMA and BIG. (One of the site’s most popular videos is Oh talking through the portfolio that got his foot in the door at both of these firms.) It’s a relatively new site, having been started in January 2019, and has around 50 videos. In particular, Oh focuses on helping viewers improve their skills on Photoshop and Rhino.
He releases new content (videos of 10-20 minutes, on average) every couple of weeks, and the site takes in themes from architecture, design and urban planning.
Archimarathon is the brainchild of Australian architects Kevin Hui and Andrew Maynard, who are ‘trying to make the topic of architecture more accessible to everyone’. Unlike some of the channels on this list, Archimarathon doesn’t aim to teach or improve the particular skills needed by architects. Instead, Hui and Maynard make more general interest videos (e.g. on the architecture of anime, or why architects should avoid visiting famous buildings!) and advice videos for younger architects (e.g. on how to avoid exploitation in the workplace).
One of the most appealing things about these videos is that they are not overproduced; often, we simply join Hui and Maynard chatting together. The pair have been releasing new episodes weekly since February 2020, and there are currently 60 to choose from.
ArchiPro is perhaps the best-known architectural YouTube channel in New Zealand. Though it has only produced around 30 videos since October 2017, and the videos themselves are quite short, they are high quality and provide a genuine insight into how buildings are designed and constructed in the 21st century. Each video focuses on one contemporary building in New Zealand, and its architect talks viewers through the decisions they made and how the project finally turned out.
Arqui9 is an architectural visualization studio in London that offers services in visualization, animation (including with augmented reality), story boarding, concept art and marketing. Employees share their skills and knowledge with viewers on each of these topics on their YouTube channel. Their videos offer practical tips, such as how to integrate 2D backgrounds into visuals or create matte paintings.
Helpfully, we get to see exactly what’s on the presenter’s screen as they talk us through a particular process. Videos have been released every couple of months since July 2014.
6. Harvard GSD
The granddaddy of YouTube channels on architecture, Harvard GSD (Graduate School of Design) has well over a thousand videos to choose from. The channel has been running since 2010 and it shows, with some of the best architectural content to be found on the internet. As you might expect from a world-leading university, many of the uploads are of lectures and presentations that are academic in nature, some of which are several hours long.
But there are also short videos (a few minutes each) that give viewers a peek into individual students’ lives and work. If you didn’t quite make it to Harvard, you can at least be green with envy from the comfort of your sofa.
Land Space Architecture was set up in 2019 and currently offers around 50 tutorials on landscape architecture drawing. New videos – which include topics like how to add texture in Photoshop, or where to download free cut-out figures – tend to arrive once or twice a month. Land Space Architecture’s main website also offers low-cost toolkits (for example watercolor trees and Photoshop brushes) for download.
8. S Photoshop
S Photoshop is unusual in that it’s presented anonymously, with no talking at all. (For a lot of people, this is its biggest draw!) We just get to watch particular tasks being carried out on Photoshop – creating reflections on a wet floor, for instance – or demonstrations of how to get more out of a particular Photoshop feature, like default brushes.
The channel is based in the United States and has been running since July 2016. It currently offers around a hundred videos, that range in length from a minute to half an hour.
Show it Better aims to teach students everything they need to know about architectural representation. The channel was established in July 2016 and now has well over 100 videos, on topics such as architectural digital collage and how to master presentation boards. There are also more general videos that review books or give advice on how to win architecture competitions. Show it Better offers new content more than once a week, so it’s definitely one to bookmark.
Australian Kyle Sinko has made over 150 videos since January 2012 which describe life as an architecture student and then in the world of work. Sinko has a chatty style and offers wide-ranging content. Some of his popular videos include how to deal with crits, how to scale any architectural drawing, and what a typical day is like for architectural drafter – there’s even a roundup of the 20 best relating to architecture.
You can never be quite sure what he’ll discuss next and he releases content regularly, sometimes even daily.
Surviving Architecture is the only YouTube channel on this list that is hosted by a woman, Rasha Shrourou. Now a postgraduate architecture student, Shrourou is based in the UK and has been posting content since May 2017. Her five to ten minute tutorials on designing and visualizing buildings are directed towards fellow students and receive consistently positive feedback for their usefulness, and for the presenter’s clear and friendly manner. There are currently 138 videos to get stuck into.
Upstairs – which used to be known as OU Graphics, before it was rebranded – is produced by Brazilian Oliver Uszkurat. (His videos are made in English but subtitled in Portuguese.) The channel’s name, Upstairs, refers to an imaginary space where architects can meet and exchange ideas, and this friendly vibe is tangible in Uszkurat’s videos.
The tutorials and walkthroughs focus on visualization tips, and 76 have been uploaded since November 2015.
The following channels didn’t make our main list, but are also worth a look:
Architecture Drawings – there’s been no new content since September 2020, but these five to ten minute videos of a hand, drawing, are as relaxing as they are instructive. And there over are 100 to enjoy.
How to Architect – Doug Patt started this channel back in 2008 and has since written a book of the same name. His accessible videos include topics like architecture in movies.
One Minute Architecture – for a different perspective, tune in to Martin van der Linden’s channel. A Dutchman living in Tokyo, every couple of weeks he posts a bitesize video on an aspect of (especially Japanese) architecture.
It’s hard to find high-quality online content for free these days, but we think all of the channels above deliver. Watching videos from a variety of creators can be a great source of encouragement and inspiration – all of the presenters have been where you’ve been, but of course everyone thinks and does things in a slightly different way!
Whether you want to brush up your 3D modelling skills or find out what a professional architect really does all day, these YouTube channels have got you covered.
But wait! this list isn’t finished and certainly isn’t perfect, so let us know in the comments below of any that with we’ve missed and that you think would also be useful…