MAGGIE ORTH, PhD: School of ID Chair Candidate Presentation

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Sabir Khan
College of Archiecture
Contact Sabir Khan

Summary Sentence: Orth is a pioneer in e-fashion/textiles, technology art and design.

Full Summary: Maggie Orth, PhD, is an interdisciplinary designer, artist, and technologist who creates electronic textiles at her company, International Fashion Machines, Inc., (IFM) in Seattle, WA.

Maggie Orth, PhD, is an interdisciplinary designer, artist, and technologist who creates electronic textiles (e-textiles) at her company, International Fashion Machines, Inc., (IFM) in Seattle, WA.

Orth is considered a pioneer in e-textiles, e-fashion, and technology art and design. (E-textiles are textiles that behave like electronic circuits and devices.) Orth’s research in e-textiles has explored body sensing, data transport, antennae, heating and thermochromic displays.

Orth holds a BFA in painting from RISD and a PhD from the MIT Media Lab, where she created seminal works e-textiles, e-fashion and wearable computing, including the Firefly Dress and Musical Jacket.

At MIT she combined her RISD-based expertise in material-making with computing technology, exploring the relationship of physical form, materiality and computation. She focused on how electrically active and smart materials can transform hard beige technology into something soft, intimate, and “other.

After MIT, Orth founded IFM, an interdisciplinary design-technology practice, whose goal is to develop e-textiles as a mature design medium and emerging technology. Her practice combines product design, art, engineering, intellectual property development, technology commercialization and entrepreneurship.

At IFM she created some of the earliest e-textile products, including the first UL-Listed e-textile product, the patented POM POM Dimmer. She has written patents, conducted DARPA research, contracted for major fashion companies (i.e., NorthFace), and created artworks. In 2007 she received the prestigious USArtist’s Target Fellowship.

Current creative work includes programmable color-change textiles, (which combine hand-woven electronic circuits, printed thermochromic inks and drive electronics to create non-emissive color-changing artworks and displays), interactive textile and light pieces (which combine capacitive textile sensors and light) and a robotic public artwork for the San Jose Airport.

Exhibition venues include: Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, San Francisco Museum of Craft + Design, Wexner Center for the Arts, The National Textile Museum, The Stedelijk Museum, SIGGRAPH, Ars Electronica.

Industrial Design has a long and distinguished history at Georgia Tech, offering ID courses since 1940. The College of Architecture offers the Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Design in which 127 students are presently enrolled. The Program began a Master in Industrial Design degree program in Fall 2003 in which 37 students are currently enrolled.

The Chair will be a tenured or tenure-track faculty member who will head the School of Industrial Design and oversee the graduate program, as well as have other administrative, teaching, research, and outreach responsibilities. The successful candidate should have an advanced degree, academic experience and a demonstrated ability to lead. The Chair will have the opportunity to provide vision and leadership in furthering the linkages of Industrial Design to the new strategic directions of the College and the Institute.

The Chair will also have the opportunity in further expanding the multi-disciplinary relationships with sister programs in the College (Architecture, Building Construction, City and Regional Planning, Music, the Undergraduate and Graduate Divisions) and the College’s seven research centers, as well as with other units across campus, particularly the School of Mechanical Engineering, the College of Management, the College of Computing and its Graphics, Visualization and Usability Center, the Ivan College of Liberal Arts, and the Manufacturing Research Center, its Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing Institute.

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design professors, design teaching positions, Industrial Design
  • Created By: Teri Nagel
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Apr 6, 2010 - 8:00pm
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 9:56pm