These six super-short videos are an architectural tour de force for visual learners bent on absorbing as much as possible in as little time as needed. Narrated by actor Ewan McGregor, the Design in a Nutshell series (all playable below) presents whole history of Western architecture (and related design fields). This historical tour is highly engaging, thanks to lovely animations and engaged narration complete with famous examples and dynamic illustrations.
Diagrams and dramatic descriptions will carry you through from Gothic Revival to Arts & Crafts and Bauhaus, then onto Modernism and Postmodernism. For the design-inclined, these educational mini-films should be enough to whet your appetite, leaving you to want more on each of these movements. But meanwhile, since you may be in a hurry, let us forgo further description and get started below:
Created by The Open University, a distance-learning institution based in the United Kingdom, these are by no means exhaustive, but they are a great introduction to thinking about architecture. Visually, they can begin to help you when it recognizing and understanding time-specific and universal themes, and start to connect what you see in cities around you to design theories and historical contexst. Or, if you already know the basics, simple share these with friends you want to get excited about built environments instead!