Siyang Chen and U. Sean Vance during the DKPP installation


U. Sean Vance is an Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University of Michigan, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning where he teaches undergraduate studios and teaches graduate courses in the Masters of Science in Design and Health.  His academic research focuses on the axioms of architecture as they relate to states of health, research that analyzes the physically pathologic, from the ergonomic and environmental to the behavioral, and questions the comprehension of such mediums as architectural metric or catalyst. Vance has served as an advisor and liaison with the University of Michigan Medical Innovation Center, assisting Fellows with spatial considerations for prototypes in development, and previously served as North Carolina State's Center for Universal Design director, where his research focused on the influence of design standards and policies that enable people with disabilities the use of products and built environments, as well as how a universal design approach can be utilized to redefine access for a larger spectrum of physical difference.  Under his leadership, the center expanded its focus on housing and product design to include urban devices, environments, and public spaces.

Currently Vance’s creative work focuses on addressing issues of sedentary body positions in institutional settings, investigating the flexible resonance of materials by embedding sensors that react to pressure and displacement in furnishing and surfaces. The goals of which are to test the applicability of the sensor in measuring a variety of small and large movements associated with specific physical behaviors, and develop objects that engage and encapsulate the body’s physical movement. Vance has recently presented work at Jinchen College Sichuan University and the Southwestern University of Finance in Chengdu China, and previously Vance has presented work as a part of the U.S. Embassy Speaker program in Macedonia, Serbia, and Latvia.  He has also assisted the Ministry of Taiwan in their consideration of proactive guidelines based on differences in population demographics.

Professionally Vance has worked for a variety of architectural firms throughout the Southeastern and Midwestern United States creating educational, corporate, and institutional facilities.   In 2012 he was awarded, along with doctors from the University of Michigan Pediatric Cancer Care Unit, the Sheikh Zayed Institute Award for Innovation in Pediatric Surgery for his collaboration in the design of an “Isolation Cart” protecting caregivers from patients undergoing Nueroblastoma treatment. In 2004 he was recognized by Contract Magazine for his design of a mobile commercial platform and ‘pop-up’ facility for Bang & Olufsen, and in 2006 he was awarded the Anthemion Prize for his renovation of the Times Bar and Morning Times Coffee Shop in Raleigh, North Carolina. He is the principal of Sean Vance Architecture and has served as a member of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. Vance received his B.Arch. from the University of Tuskegee and an M.Arch. from North Carolina State University.

Registered Architect: North Carolina, Pennsylvania, NCARB Certified