Postgraduate Research Student Profiles

Sian Thompson

The role of the built environment in supporting casual social ties in large apartment complexes and their local areas

Sian Thompson is aiming to understand what residents of large apartment complexes want socially, how this relates to policy and design aims around “community” in apartments, and how the built environment can support this.
For her thesis “The role of the built environment in supporting casual social ties in large apartment complexes and their local areas”, supervised by Professor Bruce Judd, Dr Gethin Davison and Associate Professor Hazel Easthope, Sian will conduct research to explore the link between the use, or disuse, of shared spaces and the development of acquaintance relationships.

What is your current role?

Research Officer, City Futures Research Centre

How has your research experience helped you?

Over the course of my PhD I have learnt how to start with a research idea and refine it, and plan and successfully carry out a large project to investigate it. I’ve also increased my capacity for perseverance, learnt how to manage my time when so much of a PhD’s day-to-day time is self-guided, and how to reassess and realign work when there are setbacks. I’ve also met some amazing people, including HDR students, BE staff and research participants, and had the opportunity to visit the USA and Europe for conferences and study tours, which really helped me reflect on real-world examples in different contexts and expand my knowledge.