In Fall 2016, I commenced the seventh year as the Fashion Technologist and as an Associate Professor in Fashion Design at Kent State University’s Fashion School.

I am a hybrid creative researcher – an artist, designer, technologist, and academic. My educational and professional backgrounds are highly interdisciplinary which allows me to serve as a bridge between disciplines. My current creative research addresses fashion technology, interactive textiles, material explorations, digital fabrication, data visualization, interactive installations and interdisciplinary collaborations. Since 2000, I have been working collaboratively under the name //benitez_vogl, a collaborative art + design studio, with Markus Vogl (Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at University of Akron) and my creative research occurs mainly within this interdisciplinary collaboration. //benitez_vogl creates interactive installations, sound installations, high tech/low tech materials explorations, and sculptures. For a more in depth analysis of my role in the collaboration please see Interdisciplinary Collaboration under Creative Research.

I have a strong record in grantsmanship in the arts with over $200,000 in funding in the five years via internal and external grants. I received two NEA grants in 2012, one for co-curating the exhibition, Shifting Paradigms: Fashion and Technology, the other for the synesthetic App, S.A.R.A.

My creative research has been nationally and internationally exhibited in 5 continents. The exposure from presenting my research has been directly linked to further speaking and presentation opportunities. For example, I spoke at Smart Fabrics 2011 and was invited to speak at Barcelona Fashion Week in 2012 and in Singapore in 2013. I was asked present a workshop at Smart Fabrics 2015 and this led to work being showcased at the Electric Runway in Toronto. Winning the Jury Aesthetic Design Award at ISWC 2014 for S.A.R.A. led me to being asked to be the co-chair for this year’s Design Exhibition.

Working in technology requires continued learning. I am an avid lifelong learner and attend workshops, symposiums and conferences to keep up with developments in my field for both my research and teaching. I implement what I learn (as well as integrate my creative research) into the courses I am teaching.

My service to industry, the university and the school allows me to engage with my peers to improve our community at KSU and beyond our campus.

Kent State University and The Fashion School have both been very supportive in helping me develop my research and connecting with a larger network of peers via dissemination of my work.