Maggie Orth
Art, Technology, Design

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Fabric of the Future, An Electrifying Connection, Threads Magazine
Michaela Murphy, September, 2008
Seattle-based artist/scientist Maggie Orth is an innovator in the field of electronic textiles. Her work brings this new technology to the public in a way that's accessible yet engaging.

SECCA Hosts Brilliant Performance-Textile Exhibit, Fibre2Fashion
May 22, 2008
SECCA executive director Mark Leach says, "Maggie Orth is a true pioneer in art of our time. She expertly combines light, transition and textile processes into her work to create pieces of unmatched intensity and beauty."

Style Dispatch, Elle Magazine
Leanne Shapton, April, 2008
I then groped gorgeous cloth musical instruments embroidered with conductive yarns invented by Maggie Orth, an interactive textile designer.

Nuevos Materials: Running Plaid. Tejer Pixeles, Diseno Interior
March 2008

USA : Fashionable electro-puffs for your Valentine,
February 8, 2008
Gone are the days of presenting mammoth cards, showering flowers, sending teddies and gifting chocolates. Electro-puffs are the fad now. Change your preference to electro puffs and innovative gadgets and see your Valentine beguiled by you till the next year arrives.

Plug Into the Charged World of Electronic Textiles, Inventor Spot
February 7, 2008
Petal Pusher is the latest in a series of interactive light and textile installations created by Seattle-based artist Maggie Orth...When the users touch these tufted areas of the pattern, the whole structure becomes illuminated from behind, sending a warm glow throughout the unit.

A Valentine's Day special from an MIT alumna, Boston Globe
Mark Baard, February 5, 2008
Maggie Orth, the Seattle e-textile designer and MIT alum, has red, white and black e-textile gadgets and DIY kits ready for Valentine's Day...My crafty friend Kathy and I have enjoyed playing with Maggie's ElectroPuff fabric dimmer switches...

First-rate ingenuity on Second Avenue, Seattle Times
Sheila Farr, January 25, 2008
Then there's the higher-tech part of the gallery lineup: the buttoned down, ultra-chic light-and-textile design work of Seattle's Maggie Orth — which looks like it belongs on the walls of some sleek Redmond condo...

Fuzzy Sensor Developer's Kit, Make:
December 2007, Volume 12
This kit offers an up-close look at IFM's fuzzy sensor technology, which makes the fabric itself a sensor by using electronic yarns and materials. Designed specifically for toy, fashion and other electronic product developers, it's a cool way to play with soft circuits.

Gifts for geeks, some assembly required, Boston Globe
Mark Baard, November 26, 2007
...the ElectroPuff Craft Kit "does a nice job, blending the crafty and gadgety." An experienced pompom maker should be able to kick out a finished ElectroPuff in 20 minutes - longer if you are working with kids, she said.

Tofsen som tänder lampan (The tuft that lights the lamp), Forum för ekonomi och teknik
Heidi Backasm, November 22, 2007

Seattle Artist Maggie Orth Awarded $50,000 Grant, Seattle Times
Sheila Farr, November 21, 2007
Seattle textile artist Maggie Orth was among 53 visual and performing artists to receive $50,000 grants...selected from 344 nominees.

In Art News, the Stranger
Jen Graves, November 21, 2007
Not to be forgotten are the awards that come with the equivalent of a salary ($50,000): the United States Artists grants. Seattle electronic textile artist Maggie Orth won one (she shows at McLeod Residence)...

Faculty, alumna win United States Artists grants, MIT News
November 20, 2007
Three current MIT faculty members and an MIT alumna have been named United States Artists (USA) Fellows...Orth creates smart textiles, a combination of textiles and computers. A pioneer of electronic textiles, interactive fashions, wearable computing and interface design, Orth designs two-dimensional fabric works that hang on the wall like paintings and change color when prompted by a viewer's touch.

Maggie Orth wins USA Fellowhsip, McLeod Residence Blog
November 15, 2007
Today, United States Artists announced 50 new USA Fellows and we are extremely happy that McLeod Residence artist Maggie Orth is among the artists who will receive an unrestricted $50,000 grant in recognition of their work. Considered a pioneer in the emerging field of electronic textiles, interactive fashions, wearable computing and interface design, Maggie Orth has published and exhibited in a range of venues worldwide, and McLeod Residence is proud to represent her in Seattle.

United States Artists Announces 50 USA Fellowships for 2007, Artists in Design, Literary, Media, Performing, and Visual Arts From Across the Country Each Receive $50,000 Award, PR Newswire
November 15, 2007
"The USA Fellows for 2007 are dynamic artists whose unique visions and creative contributions are opening minds and enlivening communities across America," added USA Executive Director Katharine DeShaw. "On behalf of the many funders and arts advocates who helped to create USA, we are thrilled to recognize these artists' accomplishments and fuel their future creative endeavors."

Bill T. Jones, Cajun Fiddler Are Among Artist Grant Winners, Bloomberg
November 15, 2007
"USA is investing in the nation's creativity and shining a light on the important contributions of our finest artists,'' Susan Berresford, the USA board chair and president of the Ford Foundation, said in a statement...Crafts and Traditional Arts 1. Tommy Joseph, Sitka, Alaska 2. Gwendolyn Magee, Jackson, Mississippi 3. Maggie Orth, Seattle, Washington 4. Virgil Ortiz, Cochiti Pueblo, New Mexico 5. Susie Silook, Anchorage, Alaska

ElectroPUFF Dimmers, Craft: Blog
November 2, 2007
International Fashion Machines is releasing a kit version of their fabulous Electro-PUFF light dimmers. No special skills are needed, so it could be a fun project to do with kids or give to a crafty friend interested in "smart" materials.

Home Lighting & Accessories
November 2007

Tailor-Made Technology, Seattle Metropolitan
October 2007
For the MIT Media Lab grad, technology is not an end in and of itself, but rather a way for her to explore the role that the sense of touch plays in our lives: "I make things I wish existed."

ElectroPUFF Lamp Dimmer, apartment therapy : the nursery
September 25, 2007
We love this for the nursery, especially after a warm bath and winding down for bedtime.

Just One Puff, Red Tricycle
September 25, 2007
We love that this high-design little gizmo is kid-sized, comes in vibrant colors, and is surely more useful than anything else that’s so much fun to touch and hold.

Price cut should help puffball dimmer sales, Boston Globe
September 24, 2007
At about $33, it costs a fraction of what I paid for its predecessor, the PomPom Dimmer. As it is, I can't keep my daughters away from the PomPom in my office, so these new babies might just turn up in some stockings come Christmastime.

Världens sötaste dimmer (Like a Little Pompom), Hemfeber
September 2007
This must be among the cutest in interior design right now - International Fashion Machines ElectroPUFF Lamp Dimmer. The thought behind it is for it to be used as dimmer lighting for a child's room and it can be attached to any bedside lamp. Shaped as a little knitted pompom, it's adorably cute and and you control it with light pressure/touch. Check out the video on their site! (Translated from the Swedish)

Bright Idea, New York House
September 2007
The ESSENTIAL Tufted Wall Dimmer™ by International Fashion Machines turns the everyday task of switching on the lights into a fun, inviting experience.

The Amy & Brian Morning Show interviews Maggie Orth about the ESSENTIAL Wall Dimmer, WNNS
Interview by Amy Nelson, August 17, 2007
This is great for kid's rooms, because a lot of times, younger kids get obsessed with the light switches, and this is a colorful way of them to learn that their actions will create light.

Current & Coming, Fiberarts
September/October 2007

Essential Wall Dimmer Video Hands On, Soft as a Baby's Butt, Gizmodo: The Gadgets Weblog, August 3, 2007
...we can now definitively tell you that it feels soft as silk, just like a fine piece of carpet. The $99 switch works well, and is extremely easy to turn on and off.

Soft Touch Light Dimmers Turn High Tech Into High Touch, Gizmodo: The Gadgets Weblog July 27, 2007
… the Essential Wall Dimmer softens the whole light switch experience with its tufted textile sensor.

A Lightswitch You Can Gently Caress, Crave: The Gadget Blog
July 27, 2007

MOCO Submissions, MocoLoco: Modern Contemporary Design
July 26, 2007

Patent and Innovation, Nikkei Marketing Journal
Kaede Seville, May 28, 2007

Textile Futures, The Colourist
Spring 2007
Maggie Orth, of International Fashion Machines (USA) is a recognized innovator in electronic textiles and textile design. Recent projects she has pioneered include proprietary colour change textiles and fuzzy sensors for lighting control.

January 2007



2006 Notable Alumni, Business Week
Maggie Orth, Ph D, Notable Alumni MIT Media Lab

High-tech Materials 101, Dwell
Amara Holstein, October 2006
The inviting dimmers not only change the user experience from mechanical to sensual/tactile, they transform the aesthetic and atmosphere of the room they're used in.

Hands All Over, Seattle Sound Magazine
Jason Kirk, Executive Editor, June 2006
As impresario and mother-brain behind International Fashion Machines (IFM), ...Maggie Orth redefines Seattle's fashion and hi-tech industries in one creative, convention-smashing swoop.

Materials of the Fourth Dimension, Werk magazine, Zurich
Armin Scharf, May 2006
It seems as if - parallel to the increasing virtuality of our environment - there is an increased interest in the haptic experience and amazing qualities of the new "smart materials" that can be interactive, self organizing, and intelligent.

Clothes That Make a Statement Electronically, Christian Science Monitor
Daniel Enemark, May 31, 2006

Fabrics Get Smart, Design News
Joseph Ogando, Senior Editor, May 15, 2006
Few people know more about working with smart fabrics than Maggie OrthŠAnother electronic textile supplier even calls her 'the godmother of smart fabric technology.'

Transformations and Aesthetics, Future Materials Magazine
Jessica Hemmings, Issue 2, 2006
When I started, computers where just these tan things and their form had no meaning. I saw a possible relationship between form and computation and materials, which was very exciting and unexplored.

Intelligent Textiles, MD International Magazine of Design
Christiane Sauer, May 2006
Not much more than five years ago the idea of making fabrics conductive and thus giving them additional functions was still regarded as utopian, but today the first products of this kind have already reached the market.

Maggie Orth: Textiles Meet Technology, Fiber Arts
Tammy Kurzmack, April/May 2006
Orth describes her work as transgressive. 'If technology was soft, I would want to make it hard,' she says. When asked about the future, she reflects, 'There is no doubt we will have computer screens decorating textiles, but I hope people will explore e-textiles as a new art form, not as computer-screen art but as smart materials with computation. It is a new creative space.'

So Plugged In, Los Angeles Times
Booth Moore, January 28, 2006
Orth has also invented a fabric that is animated with an electric ink display that flashes off and on a flower print. 'That would be great for a handbag,' Orth says. On her website, , Orth has begun selling a $129 pompom light switch with tufts of conductive yarn that turn the lights on when it's squeezed (pressing on the yarn completes the circuit). A manufacturer has approached her about using the pompoms for ski hats.

Extreme Textiles, Surface Design Journal
Lois Lunin, February 2006
Fuzzy Light wall is seen on the cover
Smart textiles seamlessly integrate computing and telecommunication technologies. An increasing number of surfaces are being used as interfaces to collect data, turn a light switch on or off, change color in a material, and textiles are being used on or in the human body for live saving purposes.

Be of Good Cheer, Daily Candy Dallas
January 17, 2006
And because there are multiple styles and colors to choose from, every boring light switch in your home can become an homage to your favorite accessory.



Tickled Pink, Seattle, The Premier Seattle Monthly
December 2005
Seattle designer Margaret Orth's funky dimmers transform the banal activity of turning on a light into a sensory experience.

Threads That Think, The Economist
December 8, 2005
As recently as five years ago the idea of clothing, furniture and upholstery that combined fabric with electronics was a fantasy. Yet today the first examples of the technology are on sale, with more advances products on the way. Current products are aimed at early adopters, but both hopeful start-ups and big firms are searching for an application that will carry the technology into the mainstream.

International Fashion Machines Light Dimmer, WIRED Magazine
December 2005
Designer Maggie Orth has fashioned the ultimate accent for any room- a dimmer switch with advanced pom-pom technology.

POM POM, I.D. Magazine
Cliff Kuang, December 2005
Though the product seems light-hearted and sweet, Orth's intent was somewhat perverse. She has an abiding interest in flouting our expectations for modern technology and designŠShe's also interested in getting people to see their own bodies as the electrical things they are.

Seattle Inventor Makes Fabric Interactive, KING5 Seattle News
Lori Matsukawa, November 16, 2005
Maggie Orth's pom pom is not your ordinary pom pom. It's conductive yarn that allows you to dim a light with a brush of your hand. 'It's actually reacting to the conductivity of your body, because you know we're not just biological, we're electrical,' said Orth, of Seattle. Electric is one way to describe Orth, a PhD from MIT who has built a career making objects interactive. Fabric is her latest endeavor.

A Soft Touch, Selvedge Magazine
Jessica Hemmings, Novemeber/December 2005
In lieu of the rigid shapes and uninspiring materials we so often associate with technology, IFM believes that the 'physically unexpected, intimate, humorous and beautiful' can be injected into smart textile design.

100 Textile-Related Innovations for 2006, Future Materials
Issue 6, November/December 2005
POM POM Wall Dimmers featured on cover

A Softy!, Home Lighting and Accessories
November 2005
A softy! An industrial fabric lends a sensual aspect to the POMPOM Dimmer.

Fantastic Fabricator, TIME Magazine
Anita Hamilton, November 7, 2005
Maggie Orth is tired of high-tech gadgets encased in hard, shiny plastic. Instead, she weaves metals into soft fabrics to create everything from a jacket that plays music to a cocktail dress that lights up like a firefly. 'Injection-molded plastic is not my cup of tea,' says Orth, whose Seattle firm International Fashion Machines just released a line of fuzzy light switches--small cloth pompons that turn on or off with a squeeze, thanks to conductive fibers woven into them.

Touch, Feel, Dim, Boston Globe
Mark Baard, October 31, 2005
The POMPOM Dimmer is where high tech meets high touch. This sensor-laden fabric wall switch, which responds to the gentlest brush of the hand, aspires to make lightswitching 'a sensual experience.'

POM POM Dimmer, Sensory Impact: The Culture of Objects
October 28, 2005

Soft and Fuzzy Lightswitches, BoingBoing: A Directory of Wonderful Things
Mark Frauenfelder, September 26, 2005

Lightswitches Not Just for Function, Light, MediaBisto: Unbeige
Eva Hagberg, September 26, 2005

This Weeks MOCO Tips and Submissions, MocoLoco: Modern Contemporary Design
September 24, 2005

POM POM Light Dimmers, Gizmodo: The Gadgets Weblog
September 23, 2005
No more hard knobs or switches. All you have to do is gently touch the POM POM, and it'll adjust the lights in your room. It's designed to be soft and cuddly, which probably means you'll be dimming your lights for hours on end just to feel the POM POM's texture.

Tinker, Tailer: A Student Fashion Show Revives an Old Question: Does Wearable Technology Have Legs?, I.D. Magazine
Jessie Scanlon, August 2005

Liberating Forms from Matter: Massive Change and the Rise of Supermaterials, DAMn
Jennifer Leonard, July/August 2005

Textiles of Tomorrow, Hali-British Magazine of Carpet, Textile, and Islamic Art
Matilda McQuaid and Susan Brown, 2005
Electronic art is changed by having its expression in traditional materials like hand-woven and printed textiles; textile design is changed by adding the elements of rhythm and time to the traditional use of pattern and repeat.

When Textiles Go to Extremes, Washington Post
Linda Hales, April 17, 2005
Electronic textiles are only beginning to make their mark. A decorative fabric labeled 'Leaping Lines Electric Plaid Panel" was commissioned for the exhibition. (By Maggie Orth) It combines conductive yarns and thermochromic ink, which makes the color ebb and glow on a timed cycle.'

Textiles in the Extreme, Inside: Smithsonian Research
John Barret, Spring 2005
Age-old techniques of weaving, braiding, knitting, and embroidery, combined with tremendous advances in science and engineering, have resulted in textiles that are more dynamic and versatile than ever before.

Finding a Flair in the Fabric of Our Lives, New York Times
Grace Glueck, April 15, 2005
The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum offers a visually exciting, intesely tech-y show of industrial fibers and fabrics.

Extreme Textiles Come of Age, New York Times
Kenneth Chang, April, 2005
International Fashion Machines of Seattle has made a light switch in the shape of a pompom. Conductive fibers detect the press of a hand. "What I do is make fuzzy, beautiful, conductive things," said Dr. Margaret Orth, the company's founder, "You just squeeze the pompom, and the lights go on or off." Dr. Orth said she expected he fabric switches to reach stores later this year.

Today's Electronic Textiles, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Journal
Susan Brown and Matilda McQuiad, April, 2005
Her (Maggie Orth) Fuzzy Light Switches, which can be anything from embroidery to pom-poms and fake fur, are far more tactile than traditional hard buttons or switches...By introducing electronics into her wall panel, Orth has transformed a traditionally static textile panel into a colorful and extremely animated surface.



Fashion Sensing/Fashion Sense, Horizon 0, Issue 16
Anne Galloway, 2004
Orth describes herself as someone who "looks toward to the challenge of making beautiful, practical, and wearable art fashion and technology products a reality". I spoke to Orth in July 2004 about how mobile and wearable technologies are being used as aesthetic or expressive- rather than purely functional- devices, and what is at stake in these increasingly fluid relations between technology, art, and culture.

99 Percent, Technology Review
Joe Chung, July/ August 2004
Maggie Orth, founder, president, and sole employee of International Fashion Machines, may not yet qualify as a genius (such labels being generally applied retrospectively), but she certainly has expended the kind of obsessive effort that would make Dr. Einstein proud. Orth creates what she calls interactive textiles-- fabrics with technology literally woven in-- that can do things such as change color, broadcast and receive radio signals, or act as keyboards under one's own fingertips.

Weaving a Better Web, Daily News Record
Nancy Brumback, August 23, 2004



Electronic Textiles Charge Ahead, Science Magazine
Robert F. Service, August 2003
Orth, for example, has created color-changing electronic textiles that have been exhibited in private homes and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City. Orth's fabrics consist of thin metal wires wound into yarn coated with thermal chromic inks that change color when heated. When the juice is turned on, Orth's fabric swatches can make a rainbow of color combinationsŠ

Hand Woven Hardware, Brown Daily Herald
Amy Beecher, September 2003
So much for the knitting fad. Forget the Temple of Craft. Dr. Maggie Orth and her company, International Fashion Machines (IFM), have created a new artistic medium beyond the imagination of science fiction. Orth's wall hangings are hand woven hardware that run artistic software, enabling them to change design and color over time.

Innovation, Architectural Record
Rita Catinella, October 2003
Electric Plaid is a soft, flexible, hand-woven display technology used to create sensuous individual artwork, interior design, and architectural surfaces with colors that can change to give you information or change the decor of the room.

Materials: Amazing "Grace", I.D. Magazine
Rachel Greenblatt, June 2003
Most people envision a computer monitor or television screen when thinking about the latest developments in computation and design. It's this literal and figurative rigidity, however, that designers Margaret Orth and Joanna Berzowska of International Fashion Machines in Boston attempt to break away from with their work in electronic textiles.

Clothing That Changes Colour to Match Your Mood, Express Textile
September 2003
As part of her research, Orth developed textiles for hanging (not wearable) artworks. "I was trying to make technology into something beautiful," she says. Orth's textile technologies are certainly physically intimate as well as genuinely 'wearable'. They can be seen and touched, and they react to (emerge from?) our embodied presence and movement. The computing element is rendered invisible; it metonymically substitutes its intangible interior(ity) for the 'real' exterior of cloth. Orth's computing devices suggest (are?) us (our bodies and spirits) at play.

A Material World is Unfolding, The Ottawa Citizen
Marion Soubliere, November 8, 2003
Electronic fabrics with conductive fibres weaved in carry power to sensors, actuators and microcontrollers buried in the cloth, holding out a host of possibilities for wallcoverings, carpets and upholstery.

Wired Ready-to-Wear, ScienCentral News
Anne Marie Cunningham, July 2003
Maggie Orth of IFM and Horst Stormer, Nobel Laureate in Physics, discuss nanotechnolgy and smart textiles. "Electronic fabric is showing up on museum walls and in art galleries. But you can't start wearing it yet. As this ScienCentral News video reports, smart fashions will need nanotechnology, the science of making molecules do useful things, to be ready to wear."

Textiles Gain Intelligence, Materials Today
Paula Gould, October 2003
The marriage of woven fabric with electronics is finding favor in the world of interior design as well. Maggie Orth, cofounder and CEO of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology start-up, International Fashion Machines, is currently producing one-of-a-kind, electro-textile wall panels. Instead of self-illuminating optical fibers, she is working with a fabric known as Electric Plaid  that exploits reflective coloring.

Ready to Ware, IEEE Spectrum On-line
Diana Marculescu, Radu Marculescu, Sungmee Park & Sundaresan Jayaraman, October 2003
And for those of us who can't stand looking at the same décor day in and day out, International Fashion Machines, cofounded by Massachusetts Institute of Technology alumna Maggie Orth, is commercializing Electric Plaid wallpaper. And when she says electric, she means electric: a swatch now on display at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum's National Design Triennial in New York City slowly changes colors and patterns as conductive fibers heat and then cool threads coated in thermally sensitive inks.

Wearing Wires, Newsweek International
Malcom Beith, June 2003
Ever since the gung-ho 1990s, technology visionaries have been predicting the day when electronics built into the clothes on our backs and the fabrics in our furniture would act as invisible servants, linking us to the myriad smart machines that would comprise the modern home. Called e-textiles, the idea was ultimately to incorporate the full range of technology into the fabric, so the wearer was not just connected but electronically self-sufficient.

Wearable Tech, Business 2.0
Rafe Needleman's "What's Next", June 2003



Shoes and Sheets Get Wired, Nature
Philip Ball, December 2002
IFM's Maggie Orth showed the meeting a wrap striped with thermochromic inks that change colour when warmed slightly, saying: 'I made this one in my garage using my grandmother's sewing machine.'

E-Fabrics Still Too Stiff to Wear, Wired News
Mark Baard, December 2002
You have to wonder how the soldier of the future will be able to move without short-circuiting his smart underwear. Electronic textiles, which the U.S. military hopes will keep soldiers safe from the enemy and the elements, are a hot topic at this week's meeting of the Materials Research Society.

Maggie Orth and Her Amazing Electric Stripes, Universal Press Syndicated Column
Patsy McLaughin, October 2002
Maggie Orth asks: 'What if your clothes could compute?' She wants to teach your clothes to think. Why should you have to wear a pedometer to figure out how far you got on your morning walk? Why not just look down at your walking shoes and read the distance there? While they're at it, maybe they could keep track of your speed as well. And your heart rate, too. Maggie Orth says it's all possible, maybe even likely. A lapsed painter who wandered into technology via performance art and ended up with a Ph.D. from M.I.T, she sees lots of advantages to being able to integrate technology directly into clothing and textiles.

Declarations of Independence, The Boston Globe Magazine
Tina Cassidy, September 2002
A fashion business is not what one would expect to spin out of MIT's Media Lab, that hotbed of technological advancement. But that's just what happened with International Fashion Machines, a start-up that Joanna Berzowska, 29 (left), and Maggie Orth, 38, run out of a garage in Cambridge.

The Color of Money; Can't find a purse to match the color of those shoes? Just flip a switch, Boston Magazine
Scott Kirsner, September 2002
A pair of local scientists may have solved many women's fashion frustration: What to do when the purse doesn't match the shoes. Maggie Orth and Joanna Berzowska, founders of International Fashion Machines, are developing fabrics out of cutting-edge electronic textiles that can change color, chameleon-like.

Fabricating the Future, Christian Science Monitor
Lori Valigra, September 2002
Maggie Orth hunches over a sewing machine in her studio, carefully stitching a tiny piece of plaid cloth. But the new mother isn't making a baby outfit. Instead, she's creating an interactive wall hanging of fabric interlaced with electronics and special dyes. The finished product: textile art that changes colors in programmed sequence.

E-Textiles Come into Style, Next Season's Smart Outfits Will be Wired, MIT's Technology Review
Eric Hellweg, August 2002
Most people examine fabric swaths for texture and color; Maggie Orth checks them for voltage readings. Orth is the CEO of Cambridge, MA-based International Fashion Machines, a developer of electronic textiles in which fabrics act as electrical conduits, enabling data transfers within clothing.

Technology gets up-close and personal, IT World Canada
Tom Keenan, May 2002
Can technologies be intimate? Just how close do we want them to get? Those were among the questions posed at the Intimate Technologies/Dangerous Zones conference held recently at the Banff Centre. For example, Maggie Orth's Musical Jacket is "a wearable musical instrument made from a Levis jacket, a patented embroidered keypad, a fabric bus, a mini-MIDI synthesizer, speakers and batteries."

ICA Syndicate: Intelligence Brief, Industry Trends
April 2002

Fashion Goes High Tech, Cox News Service
Bob Keefe, 10 January 2002
'We're right at the very beginning,' said Maggie Orth, a former MIT researcher who co-owns International Fashion Machines, a Cambridge, Mass. company. Today, Orth's company produces changeable digital graphics for clothing, purses and other accessories. Tomorrow, it may make clothing that can change colors or display messages. 'Technology is just starting to reflect what people want to say about themselves," Orth said. "The aesthetics are just coming out."



The Fabric of Music: Maggie Orth on Sound Shapers, Current Science and Technology Center
Website Interview, October 2001
Maggie Orth describes the Sound Shapers. Maggie is a researcher in Tod Machover's lab. Tod Machover and his associates develop media projects that change our relationship to music-making.

Darpa Kick Starts Wearable Computer Initiative, EE Times
Rick Merritt, November 2, 2001
A growing group of researchers is coalescing around the idea that the future of mobile computing may have less to do with small PCs and more to do with something they call smart yarn.

A Shirt that Thinks, The Industry Standard
Greg Dalton, June 2001
The Musical Jacket is a featured example

Interview with Maggie Orth, National Public Radio
Monica Brady, March 2001

Wired Wear, Entertainment Weekly
Glenn Gaslin, April 2001
The first wave of webwear makers-including Swatch and Levi's-prove you can take the Web with you and still be chic. 'It's not clear where all this will go,' says Maggie Orth, artist-technologist at MIT's Media Lab, where she creates wired fabrics. 'But it's definitely going to be related to fashion.'

How Computerized Clothing Will Work, Marshal Brain's How Stuff Works
evin Bonsor, Spring 2001
The next phase of this post-PC era will be to integrate computers and other devices directly into our clothing, so that they are virtually invisible. In the next few years, we might be filling our closets with smart shirts that can read our heart rate and breathing, and musical jackets with built in all-fabric keypads.



Pardon Me, That's My Jacket Grumbling, MSNBC Home
Sarah Tippet, February 2000
Orth said. 'There will be clothes that play music, clothes that change color, clothes that communicate a message to someone you're talking to,' she said. 'It might be a romantic message, like a phrase or a joke that flashes on your shirt, or a less subtle sort of message - your shirt might turn red,' she said.

Biografia delle Prime Creature Bioniches, Io, Cyborg, L'espresso On-line
Letizia Gabaglio, February 2000

The Geek's Coat of Arms, Now Loud Dressers Can Turn Down the Volume, US News On-line
Marcia Yablon, September 2000
The MIT fashion team has a whole wardrobe in the works, including workout clothes that monitor the wearer's heart rate and blood pressure, outfits that protect people from harmful bacteria, and coats that could get thicker or thinner depending on the weather. "Fashion is something people wear to express themselves," says Orth, "and computers could help a lot."

Hardware, Ready to Wear, Jackets lined with cell phones and MP3 players are just the beginning,
Lincoln Spector, September 2000
According to Maggie Orth, a Ph.D. candidate at MIT, much of the technology will have to change before computers can take the sort of bending and twisting that clothes are designed for. 'Today, connectors are the first things to fall apart," she says. Orth is working on, among other things, conductive thread through which you can pass an electronic signal.' MIT's Orth thinks that acceptance will require a new paradigm, from practicality to play. 'Computers are focused on making us better businessmen, helping us do our taxes, rather than having more fun. We'll have to create a computing fashion.'

Interview with Maggie Orth, digitalMASS,
October, 2000



Latest Denim Jacket an Make Music, Los Angeles Times
Stephen Williams, September 1999
Making men and machines more compatible is one of the aims of the "Washable Computing" system at MIT's Media Lab, developed by E. Rehmi Post and Maggie Orth."

Des Durhommes au Banc d'essai, Le Monde
Yves Eudes, 1999 Maggie Orth, cercheuse au Media Lab, a transforme un blouson Levis en veste musical.

Interface Off, Metropolis
Matt Steinglass, June 1999
Maggie Orth, a RISD graduate who designed the physical environment for the Brain Opera, did textile and theater design before going to MIT. For the first 25 years," she says, "computer and interface design were driven by the idea of productivity, but when artists started using the computer, they began to demand different ways to reach it, ways as sophisticated and tactile as a paintbrush or a violin.'

Merging Technology and Fashion, Stitches Magazine
Ken Parsons, March 1999
Since 1997, MIT Media Lab research assistants Maggie Orth and Rehmi Post under the direction of professors Tod Machover and Neil Gershenfeld, have been exploring the use of embroidery to create wearable computers and educational aids.



Schrille Tone aus der Jeansjacke, Berliner Zeitung
Frank Groteluschen, December 1998

MIT thrives out on a limb; Computer visionaries create what you can't imagine, USA Today
MJ Zuckerman, June 1998
Cover Story
Maggie Orth, an artist and graduate student here, proudly displays the musical denim jacket she helped create. Orth's contribution was the fabric sensors, thread that conducts a charge.

Body Tech, Metropolitan Home
Paola Antonelli, May 1998
Among the most realistic cloth examples was the Musical Jacket, a fully washable Levi's jean Jacket with a keypad sewn on with conductive thread (it can be used to play music). The most exciting part about the Musical Jacket, developed by Maggie Orth, an MIT doctoral student, is not the device itself, but the production of a garment that is really practical. It proves that wearable technology need not be housed in unwearable apparel.

Art and Technology, ART NEW ENGLAND
George Fifeild, August 1998
Orth continues:'digital objects can communicate. How can we understand them as storytellers, filmmakers, musicians, and image makers? (Triangles) is an attempt to create objects that explore the digital object, not just augment existing properties of everyday objects. We have been exploring the vocabulary of the painted square for five centuries, of the painted surface for all of history. What is the vocabulary for digital objects?'

When the Kitchen Does the Cooking, Unesco, The Courier
Sari m. Boren, October, 1998
Making this technology more intuitive and comfortable is MIT graduate student Margaret Orth, who is developing electronic fabric. While she can imagine the practical use of fabrics embedded with computational components, Orth are driven by expressive and emotional goals.

The Winning Ways of Weightlessness, The World in 1998, The Economist Joe Jacobson, 1998
Fashion designers and computer scientist will get together to embed smart machines and materials into everyday clothing. Many people now carry separately a computer, a cell phone, a watch and wallet. Stitched in keyboards and conductive fabrics, invented by Rehmi Post and Maggie Orth at MIT, will allow such things to be embedded directly into clothing.

Bill Nye the Science Guy
Appearance by Maggie Orth, 1998.