IntCDC Constructive Conversations – Architecture and Orchids: Agency in Spatial Techtonics

February 14, 2022, 2:00 p.m. (CET)

Sean Ahlquist – Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Michigan – Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning

Time: 2/14/22, 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Download as iCal:


In the upcoming edition of the IntCDC Constructive Conversations we are excited to present Sean Ahlquist, Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Michigan – Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. Sean Ahlquist will give a talk on the topic "Architecture and Orchids: Agency in Spatial Techtonics".

Ahlquist’s presentation will unravel concepts of design process and the relationship of environment to social behavior, particularly for individuals with non-conventional forms of communication and perception of the world around them.  The origins of the work combines experiences with his daughter and research in textile engineering and industrial knit manufacturing, exploring the novel use of advanced material research, fabrication and computational design to shift the definition of architecture from the domain of the auteur to that of its inhabitants. The presentation intends to provide avenues by which the rarely considered communities of differently-minded persons can be addressed within this technically-oriented field of architectural research.

Ahlquist directs the Lab for Socio-material Architectures, and is part of the Cluster in Computational Media and Interactive Systems which connects architecture with the fields of material science, computer science, and performing arts technology. His research explores the relationship between novel material constructions, sensory-responsive environments and social behavior for communities with a wide spectrum of physical and cognitive abilities. Ahlquist addresses architecture’s pressing need to leverage computational design towards generating truly inclusionary spaces. Ahlquist is the current director of the Master of Science in Digital Material Technologies. He teaches across the range of academic programs at the college of architecture, currently involving students in a multi-year collaboration with the Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living. Works have been installed at a range of sites, including children’s museums, classrooms and therapy centers, the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale, the Big Umbrella Festival at Lincoln Center in New York City and the upcoming Common Senses Festival in Omaha, Nebraska in Spring 2022.

The lecture will be moderated by IntCDC PI Katherine J. Kuchenbecker, director of the Haptic Intelligence Department at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart and member of the IntCDC Equal Opportunity Commission. With this lecture, IntCDC highlights the importance of equal opportunity at the intersection of architecture, engineering and construction.


This event is open to all registered AdvanceAEC members. You are welcome to register free of charge here:


Sean Ahlquist | Taubman College
Lab for Material Architectures


To the top of the page