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 exploresand 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. This highly advanced manufacturing technology enables great depth of research into the composition of hybrid yarns, intermingling of knit structures, and shaping of seamless manifold forms. 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.
Oliver Popadich is currently a graduate student at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. He earned a bachelors degree in civil engineering from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana; and worked for Capital One as an analyst interfacing and optimizing operations and backend IT. Oliver is a researcher and collaborator with Professor Sean Ahlquist, focusing on the integration of textiles with motion sensing and visualization technologies to develop new and immersive tools for therapy for children with autism. In his free time Oliver enjoys building furniture, tinkering with electronics and playing basketball.
Shahida (Disha) Sharmin
Shahida Sharmin is an architect and designer. She has received her degree in Master of Science in Architectural Design and Research (Material System) from Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan. She is currently working as a full-time researcher for Prof. Ahlquist and leads the development of knitting 3-dimensional (net shape) preforms with structural hybrid yarns. Sharmin received her B.Arch degree from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology and taught there as a lecturer after graduation. She is interested in advanced materials and fabrication technologies and committed in investigating the influence of material system as an agent for initiating coherent physical and social environment.
Wei-Chang (Adam) Wang
Adam Wang graduated from the University of Michigan in 2016 with a Master of Science degree in Architecture, as a part of the concentration in Material Systems. Prior to Michigan, Adam received a B.Arch from the University of Kentucky and has worked in the field of architecture both in the United States and Asia for the past 10 years.
Erin Almony, Erika Goodman
Past Students and Researchers
Vanessa Argento, Taylor Boes, Evan Buetsch, Evan Cann, Tiffany Cho, Sam Zhengcheng Cui, Karen Duan, Dillon Erb, Alina Granville, Peter Halquist, Patty Hazle, Joseph Jastreboski, Elaine Kim, Molly Knight, Tommy Kyung Tae Nam, Andres Marin, Henry Peters, Coco Ke Shi, Bing Sun, Yurong Wu
Jason Chao‐Chung Yang, Dalton Zautke
School of Information
Joy Yen-Chun Lin
School of Music