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

e.

[email protected]

t.

@dcrit

p.

(212) 592-2228

Research – SVA MA Design Research

Research

Culture Crunch

Reading, Flood

  Have you ever thought about your everyday actions? Brushing your teeth, dressing up, eating, sleeping.  Have you ever thought about occurrences that accompany your life constantly? A child riding his bike, a woman crosses the road, an elder sits on a bench. Have you ever thought about the action of reading? As you wake up […]

Culture Crunch

Urban Aquatic Living

Why aren’t more New Yorkers considering aquatic dwellings? Behind the FreshDirect facilities in Greenpoint, on Newtown Creek, there is a small community of sailors who have docked their boats. This is their home, on water, just far enough from the cacophony of the city but still in close proximity to the city so that it […]

Culture Crunch

Propaganda Non Grata

A few months ago, my best friend and I were returning to New York from a short, beautiful, and much-needed vacation. On the train ride back from Newark Liberty International airport, in the delirium of trying to preserve the last moments of our trip, I was filming her, us, and our surroundings. The above image […]

Culture Crunch

Collect ’em All!

A friend texts me snippets of life on that alien planet Facebook.  I myself rarely log in and when I do I hide in a manner that violates its Terms of Service.  I do this because I am too busy, too focused on physical space, and too conflicted about the toxic enthrallment of its plastic […]

Culture Crunch

Why Now?

Now. A contradiction within itself. As I am typing this I am conscious of the fact that I am constantly moving through the now, with each letter being typed never quick enough to catch it and always too slow to enjoy it. This paradox between the ghostlike quality and the actuality of the ‘now’ (the […]

Culture Crunch

Whale fall at the World Trade Center mall

Male fall Jonathan Briley loved music and like most venatic humans of New York, he was in hot pursuit of the white whale of fame & fortune. By day, he labored in a high-end restaurant as an audio engineer. Every moment after work was spent playing in a band. Ultimately, a number of articles, books […]

Culture Crunch

American Horror Story Cult: A Funhouse of American Political Ideologies

Entitled Cult, this season’s anthology of American Horror Story opens not with a Manson-esque religious commune as one might conjure from the title, but with the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Interspersed between news footage of Trump, the show juxtaposes two living rooms of opposing political leanings — one of an alt-right Trump fanatic, and the […]

Essay, Excerpt, Thesis Research

Making Room for Baby

Lila Allen, Class of 2016, wrote her thesis on the design of children’s spaces. Her research was adapted for publication in the 4th issue of Kinder: A Journal Dedicated To Child Design, Past, Present, and Future. Consider the choice between two cribs: One is a Vetro, a fully recyclable, limited-edition acrylic pen by Nursery Works […]

Sightlines, Thesis Abstract, Thesis Research

The Design of Lighting for Safety in South African Townships and Informal Settlements

A lack of safe lighting is a daily reality for almost one million children living in South African informal settlements. Township residents described safety as “protection,” or as “not having to constantly look over my shoulder.” My research investigates various forms of lighting currently in use in Kliptown and in informal settlements in Ikageng. High-mast […]

Sightlines, Thesis Abstract, Thesis Research

Eating Change: Designing a Food System for the Digital Age

The Blue Apron homepage features a birds’-eye view of an open Blue Apron box on a kitchen counter. Two hands in the shot invite you to insert yourself into the scene—as if you’re the one standing at the counter, looking down into this box that is tightly packed with colorful fresh produce. It’s a carefully […]

Audio, Sightlines, Thesis Research

Lighting and Public Safety in NYC

Olivia Coetzee examines the politics of public lighting in New York City and how darkness and light can articulate boroughs, neighborhoods, and social classes.

Audio, Sightlines, Thesis Research

Unfolding: The Manifold Mysteries of Miniature Folded Medical Inserts

What objects are designed to negotiate the boundaries of chronically ill collective care groups? How are patients assembling digital infrastructures and what can interface designers repair? What does “real world” data make real? In this podcast Karisa Senavitis explores why and how pharmaceutical companies provide obtuse documents in medical packaging.

Sightlines, Thesis Abstract, Thesis Research

Influencers in the System: The Instant Media of Fashion

It was a Saturday morning at The Grove shopping mall, one of the biggest outdoor retail and entertainment complexes in Los Angeles. The West Coast’s winter breeze was still warm enough for Rebecca Minkoff’s off-shoulder tops and sundresses. A rail car arrived with a sign reading, “REBECCA MINKOFF, #RMGoesGrove.” With live performances from MILCK and […]

Sightlines, Thesis Abstract, Thesis Research

Car Design is Dead

“Cars have never been more competent than they are today … and never less useful,” wrote the critic Stephen Bayley in his 2012 book Cars. More competent, less useful. The method I used to measure what would seem like a paradoxical statement is the concept of “proper function” and “system function” by theorist Beth Preston. […]

Sightlines, Thesis Abstract, Thesis Research

Rules, Play, Magic: Evaluating Games as Design

Games haven’t been considered as design for very long. In fact, what was considered a game is still regularly debated. The term “game design” was reportedly first used by Redmond A. Simonsen, a graphic designer working for the wargame company SPI in the late 1960s.(1) Simonsen was primarily working with James Dunnigan on games simulating […]

Sightlines, Thesis Abstract, Thesis Research

DATA FEELS: Digital Objects of Collective Care

The validity or trust in objects relates to the legibility of their design. All the objects I’ve studied were made with what is at hand, and therefore bare inconsistencies. This distinguishes them from interfaces designed for patient use and requiring some measure of compliance. It is their mark of patient labor. Inconsistency is awkward to […]

Sightlines, Thesis Abstract, Thesis Research

The Work at Hand

In the rear corner of a store at 391a Orchard Road in Singapore, a woman with spiky grey hair and glasses sits on a high stool, above a small custom worktable with a specialized sewing machine.  She sits just askew of the table, focusing on the piece in her lap. Exclusive luxury products on beautifully […]

Research

Bookshelf.

  “If you want to go to a party Saturday, throw it.” – Mom       There is something comforting and specific — and there is something frustrating and unaccommodating — about a custom shelf that will only hold one thing reliably.   My mother was born in Miami (pronounced by southerners as My-am-a […]

Research

Manifesto

There are many moments in both design and between people that are important. This is my manifesto:   A minute is built of seconds, an hour built of minutes, and a life is built of moments. These moments may feel discrete and separate, but they are not.   An object or environment is also built […]