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 Steven Heller Design Research Award – SVA MA Design Research

The Steven Heller Design Research Award

The Steven Heller Design Research award grants $500 to a student with an exceptional design research project. This award offsets tuition in Spring 2016.


Derek Edward Love, 2016 Scholarship Recipient:

Derek Edward Love is a New York-based strategist, design researcher, and creative director. His practice, Love&Partners, develops integrated brand identities and experiences for a range of cultural and commercial entities. In 2013, Derek also founded Infraculture, an event-based platform that partners with established and nascent institutions to disseminate cultural programming throughout Miami. For Derek, research and writing is fundamental to the design process, and he is interested in exploring ways to deepen the discourse within the field of graphic design. Derek was this year’s winner of the Steven Heller Design Research Award for his essay “The Price of Loyalty.” He received a BA in graphic design from San Diego State University and an MA in Design Research, Writing and Criticism from the School of Visual Arts.


Read Derek Edward Love’s winning essay, The Price of Loyalty: Paper Receipts and Their Implications.


Meg Farmer, 2015 Scholarship Recipient:

Meg Farmer received two Bachelors of Fine Arts from Massachusetts College of Art (2005) and since then has worked in award-winning interior design and architecture firms such as BAMO in San Francisco, Ellenzweig in Boston, and HMA2 Architects in New York, while also contributing to culture magazines such as CHEEK. Always interested helping creative ideas become reality, in 2004 Meg completed the Master Print Series for artist Sara Sze (a 2003 MacArthur Fellow), whose intricate architectural installation is now on view at the High Line in New York City. Meg recognizes the value of forming relationships with artists and designers that enable her to locate the ideas the world should be paying attention to. Her thesis research focuses on the issues inherent in the preservation of mid-century modern Californian homes. 


On being this year’s recipient Meg Farmer says: “I am truly honored to be the recipient of the very first Steven Heller Design Research award! I enjoyed digging into the different methods of research in Steven Heller’s class, and really appreciated the process of the story emerging out of the research.” Per Steven Heller, “Meg’s enlightening survey of this unambiguously ubiquitous cautionary label is all the more fascinating because she did her research without Google to poison her point of view.”


Read Meg Farmer’s winning essay, Evolution of the Poison Label: From Skull and Crossbones to Mr. Yuk