Margarita Benitez is an Associate Professor in Fashion Design and the Fashion Technologist at KSU’s Fashion School. She is currently the Faculty Director for the TechStyleLAB, a creativity hub that focuses on digital fabrication and digitalization.
She is a hybrid creative researcher and is an artist, designer, technologist, and academic in equal measures. Her current creative research addresses topics including:
She also works with researchers across Kent State University in subjects including telerobotics, physics, and advanced materials/liquid crystal projects. Her work with the latter was even featured in a KSU Super Bowl commercial.
Margarita has collaborated with Markus Vogl, an Associate Professor at the University of Akron, since 2000, working under the name //benitez_vogl. Their collaborative practice explores how art, design, and technology can come together. The pair have worked on interactive sound and visual installations, open-source tools for artists, and the concept of prêt à faire (ready-to-make) through generative design and fashion applications.
//benitez_vogl are currently working on projects that explore 3D printing, digitally created animal habitats and enrichments, site-specific artifacts through techno-voxel street art, and transformation of the human form via technology using concepts of biomimicry.
Margarita received two National Endowment for the Arts grants in 2012. In 2013, she took up the Fulbright Fellowship and Artist-in-Residence position at MuseumsQuartier | quartier21. The following year, her project S.A.R.A. was presented at the International Symposium on Wearable Computing's Design Exhibition at Seattle's EMP, where it received the ‘Aesthetic Design’ Jury Award.
In addition, Margarita’s creative research has been presented on six continents. Her most notable highlights include presenting at:
The Shapeshifting Conference in Auckland, New Zealand
The BIFT/ITAA Symposium in Beijing
The Digital Fashion Conference in London, UK
New Media Art Caucus Artist showcases during the Annual College Art Association Conferences
ISEA 2018 Durban, South Africa
Recently, Margarita received an honorable mention at the 2016 CO.design Innovation by Design for versus [gridiron] and won the 2019 IFFTI Manchester Best Non-Paper Presentation Award for Skin [d.e.e.p.].
M.F.A., Studio Art: Art and Technology Studies, School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2008)
B.F.A., Studio Art: Fiber Based Painting and Video Art, Florida International University (2005)
B.S., Media Arts and Animation, Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale (2000)