Sean Ahlquist


University of Michigan


Quick Bio

Sean Ahlquist is an Assistant Professor of Architecture at the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. He is a part of the Cluster in Computational Media and Interactive Systems which connects Architecture with the fields of Material Science, Computer Science, Art & Design and Music. Ahlquist teaches courses at all levels, including on-going involvement with the Master of Science in Material Systems program. Research and course topics are centered on material computation, developing articulated material structures and modes of design which enable the study of spatial behaviors and human interaction.

Ahlquist's research formulates computational design frameworks where materiality functions as an primary agent in the organization of architectural systems and their spatial tectonics. In particular, the research explores and develops new technologies in highly articulated textile and composite materials. Research is developed through the use of a large-scale industrial CNC knitting machine, part of the FabLab at Taubman College. Ahlquist’s research agendas include the design and fabrication of pre-stressed lightweight structures, innovations in textile-reinforced composite materials for aerospace and automotive design, and development of tactile sensorial environments as interfaces for physical interaction. These intensely collaborative streams of research involve professors, students, researchers and professionals from a diverse array of fields. The materials-based research relating to textiles and textile-reinforced composites involves collaboration with Aerospace Engineering, Structural Engineering, and Material Science. In the development of sensory-responsive environments addressing challenges which face children with autism, the interdisciplinary research involves Psychiatry, Kinesiology, Music, Art & Design, Information and Human Interaction, Computer Science and practitioners in the field of autism therapy.

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