Allen Olson-Urtecho Founder and Design Lead
Studio Bahia

Allen Olson-Urtecho

Allen Olson-Urtecho is the Design Lead and Founder of Studio Bahia.  Studio Bahia is an immersive lab that builds 1st Aid Psychological Therapies in virtual reality for displaced populations of refugees, immigrants, catastrophe and natural disaster victims, to help strengthen their coping mechanisms and well being.

Studio Bahia is made up a of a team of Clinical Psychologist, International Development Specialist, and Designers who developed a Virtual Reality Refugee Therapy in response to the greatest mental health crisis in the world. The largest displacement of peoples since WWII has Syrian refugees suffering high levels of trauma, with children committing suicide and self mutilation as young as 9 years old.

In this process we are creating something new out of the intersection of embodied technologies, Syrian visual and therapy culture, and brief postmodern therapies. The outcome of which includes a challenge to the centrality of language in Psychology, with focus on the emergence of a visual language with similar and improved results.

Allen is also PhD student with the Institute for Doctoral Studies in Visual Arts, his dissertation, currently in progress, the Phenomenology of Virtual Reality: An Interpretive and Critical Methodology.  Allen has lived in a dozen countries, backpacked +80 countries, and is a Third Culture Kid.


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