Taubman College Associate Professor Sean Ahlquist won the 2020 ACADIA (Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture) Innovative Research Award of Excellence. He was chosen for his ongoing research in studying the potential for advanced computation and fabrication to benefit human behavior, inclusion and community. He will present and discuss his work at this year’s online ACADIA Conference, “Distributed Proximities,” on October 24-30, 2020.
Ahlquist is a leader in exploring the architectural possibilities of knitted structures by using state-of-the-art, large-scale computer numerical control (CNC) knitting machines and bespoke modeling software. His research spans writing and practice, seeking to push computational design and material fabrication past its technical challenges in order to engage in discussions of responsivity, sensorial feedback, and human behavior. In particular, his research involves the development of new technologies born of diverse collaborations within academia, with industry partnerships and alongside community organizations. Projects involve architectural installations, such as the Sensational Equilbria installation for the upcoming 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale, and the development of multifunctional material systems, as part of the ongoing partnership with the engineering, research, and design groups at General Motors.
The award recognizes innovative research that contributes to the field of digital design in architecture, with the potential to transform contemporary architecture. It is presented each year to an individual or academic program that, in the eyes of the review committee, exhibits "evidence of exceptional and innovative achievement." Ahlquist continues the tradition of excellence at Taubman College in this area of research with past recipients of this award being Wes McGee and Jose Sanchez.
Ahlquist teaches as a part of the Master of Science in Digital Material Technologies and PhD programs at Taubman College, and is a part of the Cluster in Computational Media and Interactive Systems, which connects architecture with the fields of material science, computer science, art and design, and music.
Follow snapshots of Ahlquist’s ongoing work on Instagram.