Firstly, hello and thank you for reading our blog! When I started the March programme in September 2018, I couldn’t have imagined that I’d be involved in running and writing a blog and it being part of my assessment. I think for many of us the blog writing experience was a very new concept. Even just in basic terms of academia, the relaxed language style combined with referencing felt a little like a minefield which I didn’t know how to approach and was weary about stepping on.
However, I think in terms of the blogging format of assessment it really allowed me to engage with multiple different topics of urban design and research numerous elements. Writing on this blog, alongside the weekly lecture series and seminars we attended as part of another Urban design module has definitely broadened my perspective and allowed me to engage with key writings on urban design, rather than just focusing on one area like what would have happened if we were to have written one essay. I engaged with local architectural history via Byker Wall Estate after attending a lecture with Mark Massey discussing modern Garden Villages, [here] and discussed the domino effect within Ouseburn Valley after Georgiana Varna’s lecture on measuring public space. [here]
In terms of the meetings, I think we potentially missed a good opportunity to really be able to talk about elements of the blog and the opportunity to discuss our work. The idea of it being student-led was an interesting and new aspect, however, I think there would have been more substance to them had a tutor been present also.
In saying that, the almost relaxed approach definitely did help in allowing us time to gather our thoughts and research after the lectures to be able to write something of quality – especially during a very demanding first semester of my final year of the March degree. I think in terms of time management, this module has definitely tested me. Also like I said previously, as the blogposts are available for anyone in the world to read, there is an extra pressure to take the time to produce something that you are proud of and associate your name with, especially as future employers will be able to read these.
I think blogging alongside the Instagram and Pinterest platforms, could be a potential avenue to pursue in the future, as it can actually be quite a therapeutic way of getting your ideas and thoughts out there and having the ability to read comments in response from anyone in the world, not just your tutor. Attempting a different approach to academic writing and communication – as the likelihood that I’ll need to write in an essay format when I enter my job is slim – has been a fantastic experience and a skill I endeavour to keep improving upon, which can only help me as I advance in my chosen career path.