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 SoftLab is a space dedicated to the research and development of artistic projects using soft-circuits and wearable technology in the Center for Digital Arts & Experimental Media (DxArts) at the University of Washington, in Seattle.


Maggie Orth - From Electronic Textiles to Technological Minimalism: On The Implications of Pervasive Computing in the Age of Environmental Crisis

Maggie Orth - From Electronic Textiles to Technological Minimalism: On The Implications of Pervasive Computing in the Age of Environmental Crisis

On two occasions in the past year, both in May 17th and November 21st 2017 we had the opportunity to host Seattle-based e-textiles pioneer, designer, artist, creative technologist, entrepreneur and writer - Maggie Orth for a guest talk on her work.

Her talk From Electronic Textiles to Technological Minimalism: The Implications of Pervasive Computing in the Age of Environmental Crisis,  offered an overview of her work in e-textiles and discuss the ethics of wearable and e-textile technology, including environmental impacts, and the social and emotional effects of technology that is becoming evermore united with human consciousness. Maggie concluded her visit with a group discussion of the ethical obligations of technologists.

 

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Some words about Maggie:

Maggie Orth is an artist, writer, and technologist who creates electronic textiles and interactive art at her studio, in Seattle WA. Maggie's artworks include textiles that change-color under computer control, interactive textile sensor and light artworks, and robotic public art.

Maggie developed her interactive art and design works in the context of her company, International Fashion Machines, Inc. (IFM), where she focused on developing the creative, technical, and commercial aspects of electronic textiles. At IFM, Maggie wrote patents, conducted research, and developed her own technology and design products, including the PomPom Dimmer.

In 2007, Maggie was named a USA Target Fellow by United States Artists, and received one of 50 unrestricted grants of $50,000 in recognition of her artistic work. Her art and design has been exhibited at the Museum of Science, Boston MA; NTT ICC, InterCommuncication Center, Japan; The National Textile Museum, Washington DC; The Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; The DeCordova Museum, MA; SIGGRAPH; Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria; Bumbershoot, Seattle WA; Zero 1, San Jose CA; MUDAC, The Museum de Design D’Arts Contemporains, Lausanne, Switzerland; The City of San Jose Public Art Program, San Jose, CA.

Maggie holds a PhD in Media Arts and Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Media Lab. She also earned a Masters of Science from MIT's Center for Advanced Visual Studies, and a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design. She has completed two certificates in non-fiction and fiction writing at the University of Washington.

Maggie Orth’s work has been featured in numerous books and publications including: Time Magazine; Wired; ID Magazine; Craft; The Seattle Time; Boston Globe; Art and Science Now by Steven Wilson; Warp and Weft by Jessica Hemmings; and International Design Yearbook, 2007.

Maggie also writes and conducts research on sustainability, design, and technology. Her writing has been included in: The Digital Turn, Design in the Era of Interactive Technologies, by Zane Bernina; and Textile Messages, Dispatches from the World of E-Textiles and Education, by Leah Buechley.

DXARTS 490B: E-textiles & Wearables for Art & Design - Autumn 2017

DXARTS 490B: E-textiles & Wearables for Art & Design - Autumn 2017

Kate Sicchio on Movement and Wearables

Kate Sicchio on Movement and Wearables