Karmen Cheung grew up in the heart of New York City’s Chinatown in downtown Manhattan. Her involvement with a community organization devoted to empowering Asian American youth during her high school years, evoked in her a desire to challenge the status quo of political, social, and economic inequalities that exists in America. As an undergraduate at Yale, she studied environmental science and now works at an environmental consulting firm based in Boston. At MIT, she hopes to better understand the strategies through which greater affordable housing options can be developed for disadvantaged communities in the US and the potential applications of these strategies to China.
Saurabh Jalori is interested in architectural design, building science, and real estate development and intends to walk the entrepreneurial path focused on developing high performance, sustainable built environments. His firm belief in the important role played by real estate developers in shaping the nature and future of cities and their inhabitants guides his studies at MIT. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture (‘06) from India and a Master of Building Science (‘13) from Arizona State University, U.S.A.
Dandi Li was Born in China but grew up in Finland and received a B.S. from Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, Switzerland. Prior to joining MIT, Dandi worked several years in the development field for international hotel chains such as Fairmont Raffles and Minor International, and assisted their portfolio growth throughout Asia Pacific. At MIT, Dandi is excited to be part of STL Lab and support its mission to encourage socially responsible real estate developments. In particular, with China’s increasing demand for senior care, Dandi is interested in exploring retirement housing options and public and private sector involvement strategies for the development of affordable retirement communities.
Jintai Li has lived and studied in Shandong, Beijing and Barcelona. He studied architecture at Tsinghua University, China and holds a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree. At MIT, he hopes to explore how technologies can change the way planners and developers perceive and engage with urban spaces, especially in terms of publicity and accessibility. He is equally interested in small-scale, mixed-use development in and on the brinks of the “historical” zones in Chinese cities, and has been involved in such design practices in Beijing and Guangzhou. With the experience and thoughts he gained, Jintai seeks to contribute to more socially responsible real estate development in China during his time at the STL Lab.
Yifei Lu is a Master of City Planning '16 student in the City Design and Development group. He obtained a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Carnegie Mellon University in 2010 and worked as an architectural designer for four years before attending DUSP. Currently, he is interested in affordable housing in both the US and international contexts as well as climate change adaptation and resiliency of coastal megacities. He hopes to explore these issues through STL lab's focus on China and research topics pertaining to social and environmental sustainability in real estate development in this still rapidly urbanizing country.
Kevin Murphy graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of South Carolina in 2010 with a B.S. in Real Estate and Entrepreneurship. In his time as a fellow at the STL Lab, Kevin plans to focus on sustainable growth and development in underserved areas of the world, where continued development in the coming decades will make the most impact on growing economies and natural environments. Through research and collaboration, Kevin will explore ways to make urban planning, development initiatives and smart growth techniques and technologies accessible to a wider audience and to spur interest by entrepreneurs looking to make a difference in emerging markets worldwide.
Waishan Qiu holds a B.E. in Urban Planning from Tongji University, China, and M.ARCH Urban Design with distinction from Bartlett, UCL, UK. He was trained as an interdisciplinary designer throughout various scales. Simulation, sensing, visualizing, and system thinking are his merits. He is focusing on the interaction of computation, information, and urbanism. As cities are hyper dynamic systems, computation ensures an efficient interaction between planners and urban systems. Waishan wants to deploy open source information and real time data to examine the mechanism of how investments couple with the materialized urban structure.
Stacey Spurr graduated magna cum laude from Lehigh University in 2011 with a double major in Finance and Economics. She has worked for two large real estate investment organizations overseeing portfolios of office and industrial properties, and focusing on maximizing each property’s potential through strategic planning, rapid decision making, and actively managing lease negotiations. In her time as a fellow at the STL Lab, Stacey is eager to examine creative, sustainable solutions to the natural tensions that exist between owners, tenants, and the broader urban community and to develop specific, actionable initiatives to promote socially responsible growth and development, consistent with China’s laws and social customs.
David Chin-Fei Wang researches the cultural meaning of mobility in urban China and how it might be understood to create more liveable cities. Most recently David founded the Bamboo Bicycles Beijing, a social enterprise building a community of Beijing residents who design and build their own bicycles out of bamboo. David worked as a Research Manager for China Youthology, conducting ethnographic research for companies like Audi, Mercedes, and Tencent. The purpose was to better understand Chinese youth's cultural aspirations for their lives in urban China. David is a graduate of Pomona College and a US Fulbright Scholar.
Qing Wang graduated from Tsinghua University and joined a prestigious Asian developer and investor, spending six years focused on business development and getting real estate foreign investment into China. Qing brings her study and research interests in innovating business model and government policy for China real estate industry by global cooperation. As China real estate markets are facing growth pressure, Qing thinks that getting global practices of smart growth into China is strategic and practical for the turning-point from "wild growth" to a sustainable future, especially with current Chinese market foundation.
Wangke Wu holds a bachelor's degree from Peking University. He studies (1) eminent domain in China; (2) affordable housing for migrants; and (3) China’s industrial land and rural land markets. Wangke sees land reform—more specifically, allowing rural collective-owned land to be traded freely on the land market—as a way to relieve high home prices in China's big cities, where owning a home is often unattainable. His research may help policy makers understand the essential causes of rising land prices and provide viable solutions.
Wensi Zhai graduated from Tsinghua University in 2010 with a Bachelor degree in Architecture and a Master's degree in Urban Planning and Design. Wensi started her career in real estate industry and worked for Vanke for 5 years. At the STL Lab, Wensi plans to research on sustainable real estate development with concerns of the formation of physical space, the creation of lifestyle and social relationship, and the establishment of innovative business model in developing high quality urban complex. Wensi strongly believes in the transformative power of real estate in shaping the built environment and hopes to become a catalyst for sustainable and responsible development in China and worldwide.