U-M architect and an associate professor at the University of Michigan's Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Sean Ahlquist with MSU playwright Dionne O'Dell created a sensory theater experience for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) challenges. Ahlquist has sought out solutions to help initially his daughter with her autism, by learning more about her specific needs, and the way that she interacts with the world around her. Being one of the few architects in the world to create structures out of textiles using a computer-controlled industrial knitting machine, Ahlquist decided to use his computational design knowledge and material systems expertise to create a soft, stretchy surface for kids with ASD to interact with. "I kept thinking about the idea of introducing this unique architectural environment to children in a new way—what if we present a storyline for how they might experience it at the same time?" -- Sean Ahlquist, associate professor at the University of Michigan's Taubman College of Architecture.
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