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As someone who is normally afraid of writing anything longer than a paragraph I found the informal way of writing blogs much more amiable and enjoyable than having to write a formal essay or report. It was also something I was not expecting to do as part of my master’s of architecture degree, however I’ve found, through the series of lectures, points I found interesting and, through the blogs, managed to have a platform to express and explore the thoughts I had in relation to those topics. Although at first I found it difficult to use the words “I”, “me” and “myself” within a piece of writing with reference, I soon managed to adapt to this challenge of writing in a way that is more easily related to everyone outside of an academic environment. From learning to write like this, rather than in an academic way, it can help people understand urban design in a more thorough and relatable way, which could spark their interest in the subject.

The ways in which everyone can contribute to the blogs was all new and interesting to me. As it was student run the process definitely felt as though it had a more informal feel, which seemed to be reflected in the blog posts. As we had to organize ourselves every other week, it was interested for me to chair one of the meetings, sending round emails to everyone the night before to discuss certain topics that needed to be discussed and then leading the discussion in our meetings. I felt this sort of format was great practice for when we eventually begin work and have to take part in meetings and even lead meetings. Other aspects of the blog, such as the instagram and pinterest posts which could be made to allow viewers of the blog see our progression through the different stages and posts we all made. Although instagram seemed to work a lot better than the pinterst posts, as it seemed that the pinterest post wasn’t being updated on the website, I feel the instagram account still showed a lot of people what we were looking at and the types of things they can expect to think about if they were considering studying the masters course or even just something interesting for them to think about.

I suppose one of the issues is what I’ve already mentioned about the pinterest post not updating on the blog, however I feel that something else that could have been improved would have been a bit more involvement from the tutors within the meetings before Christmas as, although it was a great learning experience to have the freedom to do what we wanted, it would have been nice to have some guidance and reassurance that we were actually all doing the right thing for the blog, keeping on task, everyone was pulling their weight etc.

However saying that, the overall the experience of writing the blog was very interesting and informational about topics I hadn’t even considered before about urban design and has helped me begin to hone some skills in other ways of getting what I’m thinking across, instead of just using academic language.

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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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