Assistant Professor of Architecture Sean Ahlquist will be giving a presentation for the Symposium on the Intersection of the Arts and Autism, part of the month-long Big Umbrella Festival at Lincoln Center in New York City. The festival features a series of events catered to children with autism.The activities are designed to engage the children as active participants, in immersive storytelling, theatre events and multi-sensory experiences. The symposium looks to answer the question: "How can the power of the arts be harnessed to impact young people on the autism spectrum—as audience members and artists?"
Ahlquist will present his work in creating responsive sensory environments for children with autism, combining his professional expertise in advance textile design and engineering with his personal story of having a daughter with autism. The talk will focus on architecture's need to address the sensory experience of complex social environments for children with autism. By offering children with the opportunity for a dynamic sensory-rich experience within a larger sensory-toxic situation, Ahlquist proposes that children with autism can achieve better and more prolonged engagement with socially-oriented activities.
The presentation will be given on April 19, 2018. The event will join together different leaders in the visual arts, theater, digital media, and architecture to discuss the power and possibilities of the arts for children with autism. Details about the event and festival can be found here.