Margarita Benitez is an Associate Professor at The Fashion School at Kent State University. She received her MFA in art and technology studies through a trustee scholarship from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her bachelor's degrees are in new media arts and animation and in studio arts (specializing in fiber-based painting/video art).
In addition to working with fashion technology, wearables and e-textiles, her current research explores digital fabrication in an art and design context. Her current projects include 3D-printing animal habitats/enrichments, VR and fashion explorations and Liquid Crystal Sock for self-monitoring. During her eight years at Kent State University, she has collaborated with the architecture, biology, dance, liquid crystals, podiatry and physics departments and the Kent State University Museum.
Her research has been exhibited and presented nationally, internationally (on six continents) and is held in both museum and private collections. She has been able to pursue those outputs and collaborations thanks to grants from both internal and external sources such as the Research Culture Fund support from The Fashion School, various Kent State College of the Arts Catalyst Grants and multiple NEA grants. In 2012, she spoke at Barcelona Fashion Week. She was the Fulbright-Quartier21/MuseumsQuartier Artist-in-Residence in Vienna, Austria in 2013. Her work has been critically reviewed and has been recognized in her field as well as gained a fair amount of press. In 2015, her collaborative piece "S.A.R.A." was awarded the International Symposium of Wearable Computing’s 2015 Design Exhibition Jury Award - Aesthetic Design. In 2016, she was awarded an Oculus Launchpad Diversity Fellowship to pursue virtual reality research. In 2017, she was invited to speak at the 2017 New York Tech Fashion Week. In 2018, her work was featured in Pour la Science in 2018 (France’s Scientific American Magazine), in the book New Directions in Mobile Media and Performance and also in KSU’s Superbowl commercial.
She contributes to her field by serving on the design committee for the International Symposium on Wearable Computing and the advisory board of the newly created Kent State Universities AMLCI Research Institute. She enjoys interdisciplinary discourse and is part of the collaborative art and design duo //benitez_vogl and the founder of fashion tech startup mode++.