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Profile Detail

Margarita Benitez

TT - Assistant Professor, Fashion Design

Margarita previously served as a part-time faculty member in the Art + Technology Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), where she attained her MFA,  and as an adjunct professor in the Fashion Design program at the Illinois Institute of Art – Chicago (ILIC).  Her interdisciplinary background mixes art and technology, interface design, tangible computing, 3D, architecture and fiber and material studies. She is always looking at new technology, whether software or hardware, to learn, explore and subvert. The interdisciplinary approach she takes to her creative practice and pedagogy is part of the unique skill set that she brings to the Fashion School.

Margarita’s passion lies in interactivity and interaction design with an emphasis on interactivity in textiles and fashion. At SAIC she created 2 courses that incorporate technology with textiles/garments: Wearables + Soft Computing and E-Textiles.  The Wearables course focuses on using the medium of wearable and soft computing to create artwork dealing with personal expression or social interactions. The E-Textiles course, a joint effort between the Art + Technology and the Fiber + Material Studies departments focused on integrating electronics on woven fabrics either on the loom or post weaving.  As a result of the Wearables + Soft Computing course, the SAIC Fashion department requested that she develop a similar course in their department titled Lab: Technology in Fashion. This course explores the role of technology in contemporary fashion thru hands on exercises.

Margarita’s recent research involves working on OSLOOM, an open-source thread controlled loom driven by microcontrollers. At the moment the project is the pre-production phase but ultimately all information on how to successfully build an open source loom will be available under a creative commons license online. Margarita used the “KickStarter” fundraising website to raise $10,000 to fund the OSLOOM project!




Margarita Benitez
School of Fashion Design and Merchandising
Phone: 330-672-3010
Fax: 330-672-3772