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Hello, welcome, and thank you for reading my blog posts. This module overall has been an interesting one – I would not have predicted this semester would be in a group blog format – however it’s been an enlightening, interesting and enjoyable one to participate in.

To be a part of a student collective has been a unique experience; the wide range of lecture material we received weekly was an array of topics, and the resultant posts showed this. It was particularly exciting to watch the varied posts appear on the blog weekly as the group engaged as a whole, and I enjoyed reading other’s takes on the lecture series. These ranged between alternating views on a similar topic or distantly related fields of a students expertise, and it was a great insight into others beliefs, interests and opinions surrounding Urban Design.

Weekly student-led meetings with the blog group provided us with leadership skills, organisational tactics and allowed us to grow closer as a collective. Rotating the chair and speaker each week also meant students each had the opportunity to take responsibility for the blog, and gave us a space to raise concerns, points for action and address the frequency and date of each blogger’s post schedule.

Having the platform myself to write on topics I was interested in was also a great learning tool. Relating to Urban Design, I enjoyed being taught new areas given in the lecture, and taking threads from these which intrigued me to research further or else reminding me of specific experiences was positive inspiration. For example, I was particularly interested in the future potential of Smart Cities, touched upon by Sebastian Weisse – and this led to my research into the future potential of the Smart City [Read it here]. I also appreciated the possibility of linking blogs to current affairs I felt passionately about, leading to the socio-political blog on British public space & liveability. [Read it here]

Blogging is not a form of assessment I am used to, and found it strange initially to write in this format. It was surprising to write in a casual, responsive and journalistic manner, whilst maintaining an academic content with key text & lecture referencing. It is a skill I will most likely be grateful for, however, as the nature of Architecture and Urban Design require you to work in many mediums.

I was at times confused by the format with which to write – I would have liked more clarity, or possibly more emphasis put towards a past precedent for reference. Often, I was not sure whether to write more formally or casually in the pieces, whether to elaborate points as in an essay or state bullet points as seen through informal blogs, whether to argue points or explain. Nevertheless, I feel the approach to writing I adopted has been successful and fitted the content of the blogs well.

Overall, I have enjoyed the process and platform of blogging, have been interested by the variations of opinions I was able to read from my peers, and proud that this is a useful tool I have gained to use in the future. Some clarification may be needed for this module to run more successfully next year, however I feel both myself and many others can say this module has been a success.

If you would like to read the blogs mentioned, please follow these links below:

FacebookVille: Smart City or Surveillance State?

British Developers should Cough Up CAC

UniHealth: European Education for Urban Design

MAUD Bloggers

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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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