The Synesthetic Research and Design Lab, at the College of Architecture and Built Environment, Thomas Jefferson University serves as collaborative research and prototyping platform where interactive design and emergent health sciences meet highlighting the recursion between the individual and their environment. The Synesthetic Lab is a newly minted platform (initiated on 2020) that aims to take risks in developing methodologies that engage critically with interactions of humans, objects and environments.
The Synesthetic Research and Design Lab, SR&DL collaborates with the Center for Autism and Neurodiversity and the Occupational Therapy Department at TJU in the building of a solid foundation of knowledge, addressing all-inclusive ways for inhabiting and perceiving our environments. This collaboration stimulates dialogues amongst designers, medical field experts and neurodiverse individuals in regard to the inclusivity of our current environments.
The Lab continuously aims to learn from unexpected collaborations, test unconventional ideas, and leverage novel pedagogical explorations to engage with young minds that come from diverse backgrounds and cultivate a collective learning process. The Lab has been awarded a series of grants from Thomas Jefferson University.
Severino Alfonso and Loukia Tsafoulia are registered architects, educators and researchers. They hold a Post-Professional MS in Advanced Architectural Design from the Graduate School of Planning and Preservation, Columbia University. They are founders of PLB studio architecture and research practice and Assistant Professors at the College of Architecture and the Built Environment, Philadelphia + Thomas Jefferson University in Pennsylvania where they have founded the Synesthetic research and design lab in collaboration with health institutions within the Jefferson + Philadelphia University.
They have developed, taught and coordinated theory seminars, architecture, interior and urban design studio courses as well as building technology and advanced digital fabrication lab courses at Barnard + Columbia Architecture, Pratt Institute, Parsons School of Design, New York Institute of Technology, the Spitzer School of Architecture at The City College of New York and at the New York City College of Technology. Their design work has been exhibited in international design venues and they have lectured in academic institutions in the US East Coast, Madrid, Athens, and various cities in China. Their research is positioned at the intersection of responsive environments, digital technologies and the computational theory of design in the 1950s-1970s in Europe and North America.
Severino also holds two MS in Urban Design and Advanced Architecture from the school of architecture in Madrid (ETSAM) where he is currently a Ph.D. candidate. He has worked with international architectural studios such as Carme Pinos, Angel Fernandez Alba and Federico Soriano in Spain, Lomar Arkitekter in Sweden and Per-forma Studio, KDF Architecture and Natalie Jeremijenko in the United States.
Loukia received her professional degree in Architecture Engineering from the National Polytechnic School of Athens where she is a Ph.D. candidate. She is the editor of the book publication titled Transient Spaces and editor and author of the book KatOikia, Housing in the Age of Rapid Globalization, Ubiquitous Technologies, and Information. She has worked with Studio Dror, LEESER Architecture, and Jorge Otero Pailos in New York and with K+T Architecture as well as the NTUUrban Environment Lab in Athens.