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

Culture Crunch – SVA MA Design Research

Culture Crunch

Culture Crunch

Open / Closed

The city is crowded. People are Moving all the time. Walking. Almost running.Never stop. Skyscrapers are all around Casting a shade that creates a drama in the air. It is a typical view of Manhattan, in Times Square. Very local. But actually, it seems like the only thing that is local here, are the buildings. […]

Culture Crunch

Cleaning: Drudgery or Delight?

Of all the battles waged around the world, the battle against dirt is probably the oldest. The word ‘dirt’ represents not only the literal soil upon which agriculture is dependent, but it also stands for all sorts of physical, spiritual or moral defilements. Thoughts can be dirty. Speech can be dirty. And persons, can behave […]

Culture Crunch

The Chair

On Friday evening, I decided to take a much needed break from my current reality as an infant graduate student (two weeks filled with philosophical readings and having deep intellectual discussions with classmates) and immerse myself in the real world. On a whim my husband and I joined our friend Olivia at College Night hosted […]

Culture Crunch

1970s Pastiche to 2017 Feminism

Within the last few years, the media has fetishized the 1970s. Television shows such as Vinyl and The Deuce bring viewers back to a gritty era in New York, while fashion houses like Diane Von Furstenberg and Marc Jacobs appropriate the era’s silhouettes, patterns and palette. Culturally, why are we so invested in this decade? […]

Culture Crunch

The Art of the Non-Interview

I recently observed a particularly elegant solution to a problem.  A legendary publishing power couple were hosting two other couples at a small Manhattan restaurant.  The man on one side of the hostess was a blowhard who dominated their conversation over drinks and appetizers.  His name-dropping anecdotes could be heard by every other diner and […]

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 […]



Typography and lettering can convey far more than the words or phrases they spell out. In the case of ‘Chop Suey’ letters, however, what’s conveyed is a lazy and often offensively applied attempt to filter down an entire culture to its calligraphic core in order to infuse western language with an otherness. Writing systems and […]



To some, a stack of overturned buckets topped with a sloppily arranged section of bright green plastic grass might not seem like an obvious or even logical design choice with a defined purpose. To the newsstand operators on the corner of Montague and Henry Streets, that purpose is clear: something needs to support the automatic […]


Posture vs. Gesture

Next time you are walking alongside a row of parked cars, single one out and take a moment to understand its posture. The car you’ve chosen to look at may be crouched like a sprinter in the starting blocks, or lazily leaning back as if on an ottoman eating grapes, or sitting upright as if […]


Unaffected or Disaffected?

Last week I encountered a guy who was attempting to get his start-up off the ground. It wasn’t the first time he’d been through the process, but the third or fourth. First, he told me about how his business partner was a complete narcissist, who was difficult to work with. Second, he told me he […]



Realness is the perfect illusion. In “Paris Is Burning” the illusion is held up to the “the great white way of looking.” Flaws have been erased and behaviors modified. Scarry says we exist in a world based not on truth but on fictions. When I think about “real world” data in healthcare, I think about real […]


“Paris is Burning” and “Makers”

I wonder if the contemporary “Maker” movement would welcome the community of “Paris is Burning” into their embrace? What about the drag queens on Ru Paul’s Drag Race? Would they be welcome at Maker Faire?   Are these people “Makers?” Abso-fucking-lutely.   Everyone is so damn crafty: designing, sewing, ironing, constructing — that’s making, right? […]


Under Construction

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” — Nelson Mandela How we […]


Alarming Don Norman

Every morning, I am awoken by the metronomic beeps of my Braun BNC008BK LCD Quartz Alarm Clock. Although I would dearly love to hit snooze, I dare not. This is because the snooze button and the ‘Alarm On/Off’ button are inlaid into one another – to blindly grope for the former is to run the significant risk […]