Eric Benson at Fresh Press Agri-Fiber Lab Picture taken by Damian Duffy

Eric Benson

He/Him, Associate Professor, School of Art + Design

Personal profile

Professional Information

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 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 asks how life-centered systems thinking informs the way designers think, critique existing work, create responsible solutions, and craft engaging stories of climate action within the profession and in the classroom. This research is most notably seen at his agri-fiber paper lab Fresh Press and his climate action podcast, Climify.

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.

Research Interests

Design for Responsible Innovation

Graphic Design

Office Address

143 Art and Design Building

408 E Peabody Dr.

Education/Academic qualification

Design, MFA, University of Texas at Austin

Aug 2004May 2006

Award Date: May 14 2006

Graphic Design, Industrial Design, BFA, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Aug 1993May 1998

Award Date: May 16 1998


  • N Fine Arts
  • Sustainable Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Systems Thinking
  • Speculative Design
  • Social Impact
  • Life Centered Design


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