SVA MA Design Research

SVA MA Design Research, Writing & Criticism1 is a one-year graduate program2
devoted to the study of design, its contexts & consequences.
Our graduates have gone on to pursue research-related careers in publishing, education, museums, institutes, design practice, entrepreneurship, & more.3

  1. Formerly known as D-Crit
  2. About the program
  3. Applications accepted on a rolling basis. All successful candidates awarded a significant scholarship!
SVA MA Design Research

136 W 21st St, 2nd Floor

New York, NY 10011


[email protected]




(212) 592-2228

Capture the moment – SVA MA Design Research

Shani Rodan

Capture the moment

Three days after we leave Israel, my sister announces that they will be coming to NYC in October. It is the holiday season in Israel so they can have a long vacation and visit us.  We are so happy to hear the good news and when we check their actual vacation dates, we are even happier: my nephew will be celebrating his 4th birthday on their first day here! I buy decorations, order a special birthday cake, and the long-awaited day finally arrives. There is a knock on the door and I don’t need to ask who it is. I open the door and Dori, my 4-year-old nephew, jumps into my arms and we share a long hug. My sister, who is probably also thrilled to see me, is holding her mobile phone and filming this scene, and only then, with her phone in her hand, gives me a hug.

An hour later, the cake is ready and the candles are lit, we are all singing “Happy birthday” as I carry the cake toward my nephew and explain to him the concept of make-a-wish. 3 cameras are capturing this moment- my sister, her husband, and my husband are filming this simple, exciting moment. My sister immediately shares this video on our family chat and immediately receives enthusiastic responses, which in turn require more details about this event.

What is the purpose of filming so many usual and unusual moments in our life? Is it a wish to perpetuate? Is it a wish to share?

In fact, filming and documenting everyday life scenes creates a  situation which is the exact opposite of the initial purpose of capturing a moment. Due to the filming activity, the filmmaker actually watches the scene through the camera lens, also known as the mobile phone screen, and does not truly experience what is happening in real time, or take an active part in the situation. The creator has made a transcription of the reality but wasn’t a part of the actual moment; consequently, the actual moment does not exist in their memories. The copied moment is an evidence, and it is the one that exists in the memories. It is possible to live it over and over again by watching the movie and trying to connect to the initial feeling of being in the real scene.

It’s a birthday celebration event with 5 participants in which only 2 of them are actually celebrating, and the rest are making sure that this moment will remain unforgettable, or will at least be well represented in the virtual photo album.