Lok and Charles Receive Grants from President's Council of Cornell Women

High rise housing towers behind a raised viaduct and green space below

Lok's class, The Sectional City, visited Chongqing, China, as part of the fall 2018 Mellon Collaborative Studies Seminar. photo / Cait McCarthy (M.Arch. '20)

June 6, 2019

Assistant Professor Suzanne Lanyi Charles, CRP, and Assistant Professor Leslie Lok, architecture, have each received Affinito-Stewart research grants from the Cornell President's Council of Cornell Women (PCCW) for proposals concerning housing.

Lok's project, "Mass-customization Housing: Integration of Spatial Practices and Digital Construction Processes for Urban-rural China," addresses the "homogenized" housing towers that dominate the urban-rural fringe. The research focuses on digital fabrication methods (3D printing concrete and robotic construction) and urban housing spatial practices to advance how the city fringe is transformed and urbanized, "coupling bottom-up strategy informed by local architectural, environmental, and spatial context, as well as top-down automated digital fabrication methods to innovate adaptive housing construction," according to Lok. "Connecting these two lines of inquiries can profoundly change how we build our communities for the urban-rural," she says.

Charles's study, "Assessing the Effect of Neighborhood Context on Residents' Housing Satisfaction," will contribute to the literature on why households choose to remain or leave neighborhoods that are undergoing change and gentrification. "This study examines the competing concepts of 'envy' and 'basking in the reflected glory' to understand the effects that neighborhood context has on residents' subjective assessments of their houses and neighborhoods," according to Charles.

PCCW is a group of alumnae advancing the involvement and leadership of women students, faculty, staff, and alumnae. It annually recognizes recipients with awards of up to $10,000 for research and other projects. Affinito-Stewart grants support non-tenured Cornell women faculty in completing research already underway, or in initiating new research projects leading to successful tenure submission.

By Patti Witten

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