Eric Benson

Designer, educator, author, activist, and international speaker.

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Eric Benson

Educator, Champaign, IL

Eric Benson is an award-winning designer, educator at the University of Illinois, published author, activist, and international speaker.

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Eric Benson was born in Arizona and raised in Mid-Michigan where he later received his BFA in graphic and industrial design from the University of Michigan in 1998. He worked professionally as a UI/UX designer at Razorfish and Texas Instruments before he received his MFA in design from the University of Texas at Austin in 2006. His MFA thesis became the internationally recognized and award-winning sustainable design website www.re-nourish.com. His work with Re-nourish translated into an academic career where he currently is an Associate Professor of Graphic Design at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research and teaching at Illinois laid the foundation to create the Fresh Press Agri-Fiber Paper Lab. Fresh Press explores the potential of papermaking to be zero waste, environmentally sustainable, and a catalyst for a thriving local economy.

Benson has published and lectured internationally on the importance of sustainable design. His work has also garnered numerous design awards and has been seen in notable venues like The Walker Art Center, the Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, the Hammer Museum, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, and RISD. He is also an active participant in the national design scene and local Champaign community serving on the AIGA Design Educators Community and on the board of directors at 40North and Common Ground Food Co-op.


Education

MFA Design at University of Texas
August 2004 – May 2006 Austin, TX
BFA Graphic & Industrial Design at University of Michigan
August 1993 – May 1998 Ann Arbor, MI

Awards

2013
(Re)Design Award, AIGA
2013
Silver Medal, International Design Awards
2009
Award of Excellence, 16th Annual Communicator Awards
2009
People’s Design Award Finalist, Cooper-Hewitt
2009
(Re)Design Award, AIGA