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Course Material

Each week consists of an overview, a lecture sequence, structural studies, and a creative assignment.

Overview: Here you will find an introduction to the week, as well as a list of what you are expected to do. We have also included a list of the key concepts.   

Lecture sequence: The lectures introduce you to the historical development of structural art, and discuss the relationship between form and force. They focus mostly on the "social" (evaluation of societal context and cost) and "symbolic" aspects (form and appearance) of structural art. In addition, the lecture sequences include knowledge checks that test your understanding of basic facts and concepts covered in the lecture. 

Structural studies: The structural studies focus on the "scientific" aspects of the course (calculations of forces and stresses). They will help you understand how to determine the flow of forces and related stresses in vaults through the use of mathematical calculations and equations. The calculation assignments will test your understanding of the structural studies.

Creative Challenge: These assignments will give you an opportunity to explore structural art by analyzing vault design, and evaluating well-known (and perhaps some unknown) structures. You will upload your response to these assignments to the discussion forum. 


There are no prerequisites for this course. The structural studies are based on basic algebra and all we have made an effort to explain the math as clearly as possible. If you have any questions, please use the discussion forum!

Course Completion, Grading and Statement of Accomplishment

This course has 3 types of assignments: Knowledge checks (35% of overall grade), calculation assignments (35% of overall grade), and creative challenges (30% of overall grade). To pass the course you have to receive a score of 70% or higher.

You are required to complete 5 of 6 lecture sequences (including the knowledge checks), 5 of 6 calculation assignments and 5 of 6 creative challenges. Please check your progress page to keep track of your coursework.

Please note: We will send out Statment of Accomplishment to learners who have completed the required course work by Thursday March 28. After that date, you will still have access to the course material, including all the lectures and assignments, but we will no longer actively monitor the discussion forum.

Time Commitment

For most weeks it will take you about 2-4 hours to watch the lectures and complete the assignments.