At some point in their life, just about everyone wishes they were an architect, in much the same way they wish they were a fly fishing guide or, ahem, a writer for Playboy. But the reality is often much different than the fantasy. While the allure of engineering, problem-solving and artistic license is certainly enticing, becoming an architect is much more than drafting flights of fantasy on a page and then sitting back as buildings get erected and clients write blank checks and Pritzker prizes roll in. Few people understand these daunting realities yet still manage to create compelling art better than “starchitect” Frank Gehry.
Now the master is sharing his tricks. Well, at least some of them. Gehry was just announced as the newest instructor at MasterClass, where famous people teach non-famous people how to do stuff online. Other MasterClass instructors include Aaron Sorkin, who leads a class on screenwriting, and Serena Williams, who offers tennis tips.
Gehry’s class includes more than 15 video tutorials as well as a workbook with lesson recaps and assignments. There is also what MaseterClass calls “Office Hours” where students can upload videos of their work, some of which will be selected for critique by Gehry himself. Judging from the teaser video, the architect behind such buildings as the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA will drop some serious TED-talk level pearls of wisdom, like “As an artist I’ve got constraints. Gravity is one of them.”
Aside from that kind of knowledge, part of what makes the course so appealing is the price. Tuition at the renowned Yale School of Architecture for the current school year is $48,500. Gehry’s MasterClass costs 90 bucks. So even if you weren’t meant to design the next great museum or concert venue or soccer stadium, at least you won’t have to go into debt to find that out.