We connected with architect Patrick Ahearn bright and early this week, on his birthday no less, to discuss the digital debut of Patrick Ahearn’s Studio, his free, 15-session online master class that has just launched.
Ahearn, a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, and one of the nation’s most celebrated classical architects, has long believed that “good architecture has the power to change lives.” Now, through 15 digital episodes, he is able to teach budding architects and design devotees “the reasons how and why, without any sort of economic barrier.”
Over the past month or so, Ahearn has paused to reflect on his profession and how architecture can impact us significantly—from the spaces we live in to the spaces in between buildings. Ahearn offers: “I wanted to do something that celebrates architecture but in a way that the general public can really understand and get engaged with.”
Ahearn’s firm is known for creating timeless homes that are sensitive to context and community, and for designing architectural forms that reflect both traditional romance and the tenets of modernism. Yet while Ahearn and the skilled professionals in his Boston and Edgartown offices live and breathe this subject matter, he has found that there is very little public discourse on the subject.
“People experience it every single day, but they don’t think about it,” he underscores. “I thought, why not create a course and a primer that everybody—including other architects—can experience? One that shows my point of view for non-ego driven architecture, how architecture can improve people’s lives, and how you do it?”
Visually compelling segments, narrated by Ahearn himself, explore the planned communities that inspired Ahearn’s early career; the fundamentals, like the basics of density and scale; architectural detailing; and how zoning dictates design; as well as courses on client communication, branding and presentation for those interested in learning more about what it’s like to work in the field. Segments vary in length—from about 7 to 11 minutes—and viewers can watch whichever part they’d like, whenever they’d like.
After becoming a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects six years ago, which, says Ahearn, is akin to winning a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for acting, the architect feels a responsibility to explore and forward the role of the built environment. Getting his message of “architecture for the greater good” out to a broader audience is “his way of paying it forward after learning so much over the years,” says Ahearn.
All episodes of Patrick Ahearn’s Studio are now streaming at studio.patrickahearn.com.