Without doubt. Although it was not possible for us to visit the Louvre in Paris, it would have been very useful to have done so. From a phenomenological perspective, there is no better way to understand a place than to go there. There is only so much that can be obtained from looking at pictures, reading, and imagining the place.
The critical thinking used in the patchwork essay has come into use quite often. The skills have been most useful in setting up my research and understandings in my other modules, especially the Design Studio module.
Academic writing shown me, above all, the importance of giving credit to others. If an idea belongs to another then it must be credited to them. The concept of intellectual property is the biggest part of academic writing that I have taken away. I understand the relevance of such writing and the risks of plagiarism are high if referencing is incorrectly done.
Research is an invaluable tool for a design project, or indeed any project. Looking back at history is a useful tool when designing for the present and future. This said, to design something completely new and different can sometimes require an ignorance of the past in order to avoid influence. Looking at history does not only mean looking at prior examples of architecture though. Looking at the past in other ways is also remarkably useful and I will be using my research skills to both begin and further my design processes in all projects.