FABRICATE 2017 at University of Stuttgart

Sean Ahlquist's research "SENSORIAL PLAYSCAPE: ADVANCED STRUCTURAL, MATERIAL AND RESPONSIVE CAPACITIES OF TEXTILE HYBRID ARCHITECTURES AS THERAPEUTIC ENVIRONMENTS FOR SOCIAL PLAY" has been published in the Fabricate 2017 Proceedings which took place 6-8 April 2017 at the University of Stuttgart. 

The full proceedings can be downloaded here.


Computational design commonly focuses on the synchronisation of advanced manufacturing technology and material behaviour. This allows for technical specificity, or instrumentalisation, to be achieved in material, structural and architectural performance. The research discussed in this paper extends such a material-based practice by utilising aspects of sensorial experience to drive the design and engineering of material performance and architectural responsivity. This is explored as a part of the Social Sensory Architectures research project, through the articulation of textile hybrid structures and their application to the development of skills in motor control and social interaction for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The research is developed at the University of Michigan, through a collaboration between the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, the Department of Psychiatry and the School of Kinesiology. This alignment of disciplines integrates material research with methodologies for assessment of social function and kinesthetic activity.

Ahlquist, Sean: 2017. Sensorial Playscape: Advanced Structural, Material and Responsive Capacities of Textile Hybrid Architectures as Therapeutic Environments for Social Play. In: Menges, A., Sheil, B., Glynn, R. and Skavara, M. (eds.) Proceedings for the Fabricate 2017 Conference, Stuttgart, April 2017, pp. 234-241. online.