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Black Spectacles provides support and inspiration to architects through world-class educational material and career resources at every stage of their careers. Marc Teer, FAIA, an award-winning architect, founded the company in 2010 to democratize the learning process and remove barriers to career expansion while helping architects thrive and foster career growth. As the first and only NCARB-approved test prep provider for all six divisions of the ARE® 5.0 exam, the subscription-based software has established Black Spectacles as a preeminent figure in sophisticated online learning. Through comprehensive and contemporary educational technology, media and a burgeoning platform, Black Spectacles paves the way for expansive creative potential in architecture and design.

Founder Biography

Marc Teer, CEO and Founder, Black Spectacles

Marc Teer is the founder and CEO of Black Spectacles, a member of the AIA College of Fellows, former award-winning architect at Gensler, Assistant Adjunct Professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology, and Chair of AIA Chicago’s Young Architects Forum. Marc founded Black Spectacles in 2010 to advance the creative potential of architecture and design through online learning.


  1. January 19, 2021

    Black Spectacles and NOMA Partner to Help Increase Equity in Architecture

  2. January 15, 2021

    Work from anywhere — here are 8 featured remote job opportunities for architects

  3. January 7, 2021

    Black Spectacles Named to Three Best Place to Work Lists by Built In

  4. January 5, 2021

    Black Spectacles Doubles Staff in 2020; Named ‘Great Place to Work’

  5. December 12, 2020

    Black Spectacles Founder Given AIA-Chicago 2020 Distinguished Service Award

  6. December 4, 2020

    Black Spectacles Earns Great Place to Work Certification for Second Straight Year

  7. December 4, 2020

    Black Spectacles Launches Spectacular, an Online Career Platform for Architects

  8. November 16, 2020

    9 Chicago Tech Companies Share Their Experiences With Remote Onboarding

  9. October 2, 2020

    How to Study Architecture and Become an Architect

  10. September 15, 2020

    Black Spectacles Plans to Scale Using a Tested Recipe for Success: Focus on Purpose

  11. August 28, 2020

    The Ultimate Study Guide for the ARE Exam: Desk Crits

  12. August 6, 2020

    15 Online Learning Platforms Changing the Way We Learn

  13. February 26, 2020

    Black Spectacles Founder and CEO, Marc Teer, Elevated to AIA College of Fellows

  14. August 14, 2019

    Black Spectacles named to the Inc. 5000 list of Fastest Growing Companies in America

  15. October 17, 2018

    Take your ARE® Test Prep to the next level with ARE Coaching through Black Spectacles

  16. June 8, 2018

    A Simple 6-Step Guide to Getting a Job in Architecture

  17. April 26, 2018

    NCARB Approves First Third-Party Test Prep Materials for ARE 5.0.

  18. October 15, 2017

    The Black Spectacles ARE Live podcast is featured as one of ArchDaily's best podcasts for architects. The article originally appeared on The Architect's Guide

  19. September 11, 2017

    NCARB asked Austen Conrad, Assoc. AIA - who passed all six 5.0 divisions on the first try - to share his thoughts and advice with other licensure candidates preparing to test

  20. April 14, 2017

    Some of the world's biggest architecture firms rely on this 7-person startup

  21. October 20, 2016

    Black Spectacles founder & CEO, Marc Teer is the 2016 recipient of the AIA Illinois John Root Wellborn Award which recognizes exemplary, noteworthy service or design talent of an AIA architect licensed less than 10 years

  22. September 2, 2014

    Sharpen your skills with Archinect & Black Spectacles. Live digital design workshops start on September 27th