About Black Spectacles

Who We Are & What We Do

Black Spectacles is where architects come to learn how to accomplish their next big thing.

We're the only learning platform created entirely for architects. That means we know this industry inside and out, and so do our instructors. Our simple, easy-to-digest and in-depth video tutorials, practice exams, and virtual workshops are taught and curated by architects and designers who work on world-class projects.

We're people who love design as much as you do, who have watched the sun come up after our fair share of all-nighters, and who turn every vacation into an architectural pilgrimage. We're just as crazy about architecture as you are. Whether it's getting licensed, learning new software to keep your skills current, or growing your career after licensure, everyone at Black Spectacles is committed to helping you get there.


The Black Spectacles Story

As an architect at Gensler, all I wanted to do was design amazing architecture. New tools kept emerging and old ones were changing fast. My firm financed workshops, training, and conferences so I could learn new software. But even that wasn’t enough.

I was also an Assistant Adjunct Professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology, where my students faced the same challenges. Keeping up with new architecture software and design tools was time consuming and crazy expensive.

I launched Black Spectacles in 2010 to democratize learning. To connect world-class architects with eager-to-learn students. To empower our entire community with knowledge. By making it easier for anyone from any corner of the Internet to expand their architecture and design skills, Black Spectacles is paving the path to innovation in our industry.

We've since expanded beyond software courses and now help thousands of architects get licensed and pass the ARE® with the first and only NCARB approved resources for all six divisions of the 5.0 exam. 

In 2020, I was elevated to a Fellow by the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Even though I get the "FAIA" next to my name, it's not about me, it's about us. I see this as a recognition of the dedication our entire network of employees, architects, mentors and friends have put forth in helping architects attain their licensure and advance their careers. 

— Marc Teer, Architect, Founder & CEO