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





(212) 592-2228

The Monotype Scholarship for Excellence in Design Criticism – SVA MA Design Research

The Monotype Scholarship for Excellence in Design Criticism

The Monotype Scholarship for Excellence in Design Criticism, an award of $5,000, goes to one student in the MA Design Research, Writing and Criticism Department.

“Monotype is delighted to be able to support SVA,” explains Allan Haley, director of Words & Letters at Monotype. “While the other arts have long benefitted from critical endeavors, design criticism is still in its infancy. SVA has taken an important step in advancing and enriching the design arts. Monotype is proud to be associated with such an important endeavor.” Monotype is a leading global provider of typefaces, technology and expertise, enabling optimal user experiences and brand integrity. Find out more at:


Emma Ng, 2017 Scholarship Recipient:
Emma Ng is a curator from New Zealand. She comes to SVA from Enjoy Public Art Gallery, a contemporary art project space where she has been working as Director since early 2014. She holds a Bachelor of Design and an Honors degree in Art History. Previous projects have ranged from the “appetites” fed by the food photography of New Zealand’s cookbooks and magazines to the dominance of war commemoration within the Wellington landscape at the cost of important local histories. In returning to study, Emma is interested in the optimism of design—its tireless belief that betterment is always possible. As a writer she has contributed to publications such as Art New Zealand and ArtAsiaPacific. Her first book, with a publisher in New Zealand, is slated for publication in 2017 and considers the place of Asian New Zealanders within New Zealand society.


Lila Allen, 2016 Scholarship Recipient:
Lila Allen is a writer, editor, and producer focusing on areas of art and design. She holds an undergraduate degree in Art History with a concentration in Gender Studies from Davidson College, where her senior project focused on destruction of art objects. An avid museum lover, she has worked for the Mint Museum of Art, the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, and most recently, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her professional experience spans a breadth of creative production, from educational programming to curated potluck-and-photography mashups to print catalogues. She has also served as editor-in-chief of Charlotte Viewpoint, where she oversaw the investment of an Arts & Science Council grant for a redesign of the online magazine’s user interface and publication strategy.


Brittany Dickinson, 2015 Scholarship Recipient:
Brittany Dickinson holds a Bachelor of Science in Fashion Design from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art & Planning. After graduating in 2009, she moved to New York and was hired as a clothing designer at J.Crew, where she worked for the past five years. She gladly traded in her croquis sketches and color swatches for history books and long discussions about design and culture. Brittany’s mission is to become a design educator and to help elevate the discourse around fashion. Her thesis explores how schools prepare students with the tools they need to tackle the many ethical issues facing the fashion industry today.

Writing by Brittany Dickinson:
Object Analysis: 1 Granary
Hudson Yards, $$$


Justin Zhuang, 2014 Scholarship Recipient:
Justin Zhuang is a Singapore-born writer and researcher interested in design, cities, culture, history, and the media. His deep interest in Singapore’s visual culture and design scene led him to serve as the contributing editor for the visual culture publication, The Design Society Journal. In 2012, he published his first book on design, INDEPENDENCE: The history of graphic design in Singapore since the 1960s, which traces the evolution of the nation’s graphic design scene over the last five decades. He has continued research on this topic by starting the Singapore Visual Archive and Archiving.SG, two online resources to document the country’s design history. Zhuang has also contributed to the Singapore Memory Project and helped the Land Transport Authority document the design and construction of thirty-two artworks, which were installed in Singapore’s Circle Line mass rapid transit train stations.

Writing by Justin Zhuang:
Arranging a Room Full of Possibilities
Instructions on how to assemble a future IKEA: From “Democratic Design” to “Democratic Designers
Monocle Magazine: A Singular View of the City