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To reflect upon this experience from semester one, I would start by saying I found the concept a little unusual, but fun at the same time. It was the first experience for me having my academic work displayed on a globally accessible platform, which really exemplified the fact that we are actively attempting to contribute to the field of Urban Design. In regards to the self-directed meeting, I was unfortunately only able to attend one due to commitments with my primary course of Architecture, however, for the meeting, I wrote the agenda and chaired. Personally, I felt my two years in practice allowed me to approach this meeting in a well-structured and professional manner, assuring that discussions remained on topic, issues solved efficiently and the overall meeting running on time. Despite the relatively low attendance, I endeavoured to approach the meeting with enthusiasm and involve every member present.

In regards to the actual task of blogging itself, it was a valuable learning curve for highlighting where I believe I am succeeding and requiring improvement. I would say my ability to learn topics in short bursts was of great benefit. I learned that blogs are fantastic ways of learning without having to dredge through long dense texts, that is to say, I found blogs to be quick and refreshing doses of information. In turn, I would say this improved my ability to research a wide variety of topics at a faster rate, through the writing of my own posts and reading of my peers.

My ability to stay up to date with posting dates was a little bit of an issue of mine. I am aware that blogs strategically need to be posted at organised times in order to generate sustained interest, and in this aspect, I let myself down. This was in part due to my inability to settle on topics to write about, but hindsight suggests I could have utilised this issue to post more in a paradoxical way. For me, the word count could have been a bit looser; I struggled to stay within the realm of what was suggested. This was largely because, like I’m sure many people do, I get passionate about the topics I choose. Looking forward, I should develop my understanding of blog etiquette to effectively format my posts; ensuring length becomes a non-issue but readability stay at an optimum level.

Where my blog posts highlight concepts and theories, they generally lack specific writing on actual case studies. I don’t believe this takes away from topic choices, but it did make me understand the fact that my researching abilities in the field of urban design must begin to look at case studies as departure points as opposed to philosophies or concepts. On the other hand, this did reveal to me the difference in writing styles between my two courses.

Overall, I believe the blog concept is an engaging one despite the issues I encountered. The idea that such a large volume of people could view your work is both daunting and exciting, providing an underlining focus that consciously allowed me to discover where my true professional interests reside.

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School of Architecture
Planning and Landscape
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear, NE1 7RU

Tel: 0191 208 6509

Email: nicola.rutherford@ncl.ac.uk


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