Herein, we review our latest advancements in nanostructured photoanodes for next generation photovoltaics in general and dye-sensitized solar cells in particular. Bottom-up self-assembly techniques are developed to fabricate large-area 3D nanostructures that enable enhanced charge extraction and light harvesting through optical scattering or photonic crystal effects to improve photocurrent, photovoltage and fill factor. Using generalized techniques to fabricate specialized nanostructures enables specific optoelectronic and physical characteristics like conduction, charge extraction, injection, recombination and light harvesting but also helps improve mechanical flexibility and long-term stability in low cost materials.