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Writing has never been a strong point of mine, I’m more of a drawer than a talker, it normally seems like a daunting task that I usually try my best to avoid. However, rather out of character, I found myself enjoying the blog process that was less a piece of analytical writing and more a conversation on an interesting urban topic. Before taking this module, I had never had the opportunity to write a blog post and I’m glad that I’ve had this experience.  It’s refreshing to communicate issues regarding urban planning, design, architecture, politics and society in a more informal format that allows us to discuss our own points of view as a group and not feel there is always a right or wrong answer when it comes to a matter of opinion. The blog opens up topics of debate which is a very rewarding method for discussing urban design and our built environment, something I’m sure all of us will take with us into our future careers. The collaborative work has brought together like minded people to share different experiences and knowledge and I’ve certainly learnt a lot about my peers. Being able to look back on our discussions, like a logbook, has proven an invaluable source of information and the opportunity to take complete ownership of the blog as a group meant that it was entirely a reflection of us. I thought that instructing us to write about a lecture we attended in the series was helpful in deciding upon a topic and gave the blog direction and focus. We met fortnightly to discuss posts and raise issues such as format, content and timing of posts. We also set up a group google drive to share information. Even if we didn’t have feedback or support from staff members at these meetings, which at first did feel a little strange, we were able to speak freely and constructively with one another.

As a very private person I struggled with posting something that could be read by anyone online, I have never made an Instagram post or status on even my personal accounts and whilst I can see the merits of the blog and Instagram account as a format that keeps up to date with technology, it is unclear to me how the university marks what we have written and using what criteria. I felt quite out of my depth and a little unguided, although being able to read what others on the course had posted helped me to realise the writing style and content. All in all, it’s been a unique experience and I’m happy the blog has allowed for a small distraction from normal university submissions. Blogging is certainly a skill that needs getting used to, and I can’t say I’ve mastered it just yet!

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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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