My journey so far…
I really enjoyed this experience of writing blogs for the university website. I think it is a really great initiative by Newcastle University where students are provided with an opportunity to explore various topics related to urban design. Students present their views and reflect on the opinions and the work of other people.
It started with…
Firstly, I was new to Urban Design as I come from an architecture background. I have done my undergraduate degree in India and have worked in India as well as UAE. But the UK was a completely new country to me. Hence, the design style, strategies, curriculum etc. was very different from what I have learned. And in the beginning, I definitely struggled to adapt to this new environment.
Secondly, as I mentioned that my bachelor’s degree is not in urban design, but architecture. It took time for me to understand the scale and vastness of Urban Design. Usually, during the planning process, we used to start with site analysis, entry and exit points to the site etc. But when you design on a city level plan, there is no one entry or exit but a variety of them. Hence, I struggled with how to approach the design. But eventually, through the help of my professors and learning about urban design in detail, helped me to fit in. In addition, these blog posts were an escape which was actually a refreshing experience.
What I learned:
This was my second time writing blogs. I have done architectural Journalism in the past for one website called ‘Rethinking the Future’. Nevertheless, this was unique in its own way as it was focused on the issues in urban planning and strategies to bring about better change, in order to make cities more liveable. Also, the research that went on to write one blog helped me in getting familiar with the field.
Involvement needed from us impressed me the most. It was a great team-building exercise as we had to do meetings once a week where we discussed the activities to be done, the issues to be solved, ways to improve the website etc. Also, we kept on changing the person who would chair the meeting as this gave chance to each and everyone in the class to take upon an opportunity to lead, discuss, present ideas. Personally, I feel this was a wonderful opportunity for the students who were a bit shy and had communication issues. It helped me in understanding them better.
In the End..
Finally, I would say that this is surely an innovative step by Newcastle university as it also helps the students to improve on their language and writing skills. It definitely helped me improve my writing techniques. Yet there is a lot to improve, I think this is the first step in the right direction. I am looking forward to contributing more to the website in the next semester and enhancing my writing techniques as it would finally help me in the dissertation.