Faculty & Lecturers

Core Faculty

  • Architectural designer and researcher

    Alicia Olushola Ajayi is an architectural designer, researcher, writer, and (still trying to figure it out) based in NYC. After receiving a dual masters in architecture and social work from Washington University in St. Louis, Alicia worked as an associate designer at MASS Design Group. There she contributed to the Equal Justice Initiatives Soil Collection exhibition and the ground-breaking Memorial to Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama, a site dedicated to the racial terror and lynching throughout US history.

    She graduated from the SVA MA Design Research, Writing and Criticism program in 2020. At SVA, she refined her research practice to be rooted in historical research and cultural theory applications. Ajayi is currently documenting and researching Brooklyn, IL, the first Black American town to be incorporated by 1829. Situated along the Mason-Dixon line, Brooklyn’s past offers a rich history of the external ideologies and internal motivations that created radical Black spatial conditions. The study of Brooklyn and other antebellum Black settlements offer a critical understanding of Black place-making in American history. The research is supported by the School of Visual Arts Alumni Association (2019), the New York State Art Council on the Arts (2019), and the Architectural League’s Deborah J. Norden Travel Grant (2020). Ajayi’s article “We Call It Freedom Village: Brooklyn, Illinois’ Radical Tactics of Black Place-making” can be read here.

    Ajayi’s practice incorporates multiple writing forms from scholarly to commentary to experimental. Her work is featured in The New York Architecture in Review, PIN-UP Magazine, Metropolis, Architectural Record, The Architectural Review, Dear Friend, and The Funambulist. Ajayi serves on the advisory board of Oculus Magazine. She is the show producer for the upcoming podcast Curious Story Lab, an interview platform hosted by influential graphic designer Michele Washington, spotlighting designers of color. Ajayi is also the project manager at BlackSpace Urbanist Collective, a group of design professionals dedicated to protect and create Black spaces.

    She co-teaches Approaches to Design History, Part II with Jon Key in the Fall Semester.

  • Architect and author

    An architect and an author, Margaret Arbanas has worked on projects ranging from books to exhibitions to buildings to cities. Educated at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, Arbanas joined Rem Koolhaas’s Office for Metropolitan Architecture in Rotterdam and New York in 2003, where she was responsible for a number of projects in Europe, US and China. Highlights from her time at OMA include visual identity design for the European Union, content development for the exhibition The Image of Europe, timeline design for OMA’s retrospective exhibition and publication Content, and design of Cornell University’s new school of architecture. She returned to Harvard in 2009 to co-lead Koolhaas’ master thesis cohort in 2008.

    In 2009 Arbanas started her own practice, collaborating with numerous cultural institutions such as Guggenheim Museum , Harvard University, and Pentagram. Her work has been featured in the Venice Biennale of Architecture and various publications.

    Arbanas was awarded grants from the Graham Foundation and American Institute of Architects to relocate to Cuba and research the 1959 revolution’s impact on architecture and culture. She is also the recipient of the Balokovic Scholarship from Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts.

  • MA Design Research Program Chair

    Molly Fulghum Heintz is the Program Chair of the SVA MA Design Research program and the editor in chief of Oculus, the quarterly magazine of the American Institute of Architects, New York. She is a co-founder of the editorial consultancy Superscript and has served as the firm’s managing director since 2012. With Superscript, she has collaborated on strategy, research, and writing projects for a range of design organizations and institutions, including Pentagram, the Museum of Modern Art, and Rockwell Group, in addition to producing conversation series for the Museum of Arts and Design, the Venice Architectural Biennale, and the Oslo Architecture Triennial. Prior to Superscript, Heintz led communications departments at the architecture firms Gensler and Rockwell Group and was a fellow at the Philip Johnson Glass House, where she helped launch the interactive site “Glass House Conversations.” She holds BAs in Classics and Archaeology from Duke University, an MFA in Design Criticism from the School of Visual Arts, and an MA in the History of Art and Architecture from Harvard University, where her PhD research focuses on narratives attached to design objects. Heintz has edited multiple books and magazines, and is a contributor to Design Observer, Fast Company magazine and The Architect’s Newspaper. Her writing has also appeared in The Art Newspaper, AIGA Voice, and Studies in the Decorative Arts, among other publications.

    Her current research focuses on design and disinformation, and she presented a related paper, “The Role of Design in the Creation of Fake News,” at the 2018 College Art Association Conference in Los Angeles.

  • Co-chair MFA Design / Designer as Author + Entrepreneur

    Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Design / Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program and the SVA Masters Workshop in Rome. He writes the Visuals column for The New York Times Book Review, a weekly column for The Atlantic online and The Daily Heller / Imprint online. He has written more than 160 books on graphic design, illustration and political art, including The Design Entrepreneur (with Lita Talarico), Paul Rand, Merz to Emigre and Beyond: Avant Garde Magazine Design of the Twentieth Century, Design Literacy: Understanding Graphic Design, Citizen Designer, Stylepedia: A Guide to Graphic Design Mannerisms, Quirks, and Conceits (with Louise Fili), The Anatomy of Design: Uncovering the Influences and Inspirations in Modern Graphic Design, Iron Fists: Branding the 20th Century Totalitarian State and 100 Ideas that Changed Graphic Design. He is a contributing editor for Print, Baseline, Design Observer, and Eye. Heller is the recipient of the Art Directors Club Special Educators Award, the AIGA Medal for Lifetime Achievement, the School of Visual Arts’ Masters Series Award and the 2011 National Design Award for “Design Mind.”

    @thedailyheller

  • Professional observer of the manmade landscape

    Karrie Jacobs is a professional observer of the manmade landscape. Her recent writing has appeared in Curbed, the New York Times, and the MIT Technology Review. She has been a columnist for Metropolis and a contributing editor for Travel + Leisure, Architect, House + Garden and Metropolitan Home. Jacobs was also the founding editor-in-chief of Dwell, the architecture critic of New York Magazine, and the founding executive editor of Benetton’s Colors. She is the author of The Perfect $100,000 House: A Trip Across America and Back in Pursuit of a Place to Call Home (Viking, 2006).

  • Writer and editor

    Jennifer Kabat’s The Eighth Moon on a 1840s socialist uprising in her town will be published by Milkweed Editions in Spring 2024. Half of a diptych, the second volume Nightshining will come out in 2025. Her work has been supported by numerous grants including a Silvers Foundation Grant and a Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant for her criticism. Her essays have appeared in BOMB, Granta, Frieze, McSweeney’s, The Believer, Virginia Quarterly Review, LARB, New York Review, 4 Columns and the White Review and been anthologized in Best American Essays. She often collaborates with artists and contributes to museum catalogues. An apprentice herbalist, she lives in rural upstate New York and serves on her volunteer fire department.

  • Publisher, New York Review of Architecture

  • Artist and designer

    Jon(athan) Key is an artist, designer, and writer originally from Seale, Alabama. After receiving his BFA from RISD, Jon began his design career at Grey Advertising in NYC before moving on to work with HBO, Nickelodeon, and The Public Theater. Now he is co-founder of the Brooklyn–based design studio Morcos Key with Wael Morcos. As an educator, Jon has taught at MICA, Parsons, and currently teaches at Cooper Union and SVA. Jon is also a Co-Founder and Design Director of Codify Art, a multidisciplinary collective dedicated to creating, producing, supporting, and showcasing work by artists of color, particularly women, queer, and trans artists of color. Jon was selected for Forbes 30 under 30 Art and Style list for 2020 and was the Frank Staton Chair in Graphic Design at Cooper Union 2018-2019. His work has been featured in Jeffery Deitch Gallery NYC, the Armory Show, The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Atlantic.

    He holds an MA in Design Research, Writing and Criticism from SVA (Class of 2021). He co-teaches Approaches to Design History, Part II with Alicia Ajayi in the Fall Semester.

    @jonkey13

  • Writer, documentary filmmaker and producer

    Adam Harrison Levy
 is a writer and freelance documentary film producer and director. He specializes in the art of the interview. For the BBC he has conducted interviews with a wide range of actors, writers, musicians and film-makers including Meryl Streep, Philip Glass, and Paul Auster. He was the U.S. producer for Selling the Sixties, a cultural history of advertising in New York in the early 1960s and Close Up, about the artist Chuck Close. His directing credits for the BBC include Step Right Up and War Machine. He has produced and directed interviews for films such as Lou Reed Remembered, The Kennedys, and D-Day to Berlin. He is a contributing writer for The Design Observer and wrote the catalog essay for Hiroshima: Ground Zero 1945, an exhibition at the International Center for Photography and Saul Leiter: Retrospective at the Deichtohallen, Hamburg. His journalism has appeared in The Huffington Post and The Guardian Weekend Magazine. In 2012 and 2013 he curated the BBC/SVA documentary film festival and in 2012 he was a Poynter Fellow at Yale University. In 2013 and 2104 he is a visiting assistant professor in the Film Studies Department at Wesleyan University.

  • Arts writer, architect, and media consultant

    Pierre Alexandre de Looz is a New York-based arts writer, architect, and media consultant. He has reported on art, design and fashion for The New York Times Style Magazine T, Fantastic Man, V magazine, Art in America, Surface, and Tokion, among others. He is New York contributing editor for award winning 032c magazine, for which he has profiled leading fashion industry figures like photographer Steven Meisel, designer Nicolas Ghesquière, and most recently designer Raf Simons. In 2006 he co-founded design and culture semiannual PIN-UP magazine, and serves as the magazine’s editor-at-large. He is a graduate of Yale University with a B.A. in Comparative Literature and earned a Master’s in Architecture from Columbia University in 2004. Following apprenticeships with Robert AM Stern and Zaha Hadid, his design work currently focuses on residential and exhibition design.

  • SVP of Content Development at Pushkin Industries

    Leital Molad is the head of content development at Pushkin Industries, the audio company that's home to Malcolm Gladwell's Revisionist History, Broken Record with Rick Rubin, The Happiness Lab, Against the Rules with Michael Lewis, and many more chart-topping podcasts and audiobooks. Previously, she was the executive producer of podcasts at First Look Media (Topic Studios & The Intercept). Before that, Molad spent more than a decade producing radio and podcasts at WNYC, including the Peabody Award-winning arts and culture show Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen. She has an MA in journalism from NYU.

  • Cultural critic and author

    Anne Elizabeth Moore is the Eisner-winning author of a critical overview of the work of cartoonist Julie Doucet, as well as a long-standing comics, book, film, and culture critic. Gentrifier: A Memoir is an NPR Best Book and Body Horror: Capitalism, Fear, Misogyny, Jokes was nominated for a Chicago Review of Books Award and a Lambda Award, was a Chicago Public Library Best Book, and was released in a second edition by Feminist Press. Her award-nominated podcast, My Inevitable Murder, is a true-crime comedy investigation of her own impending demise, and is supported by the Fund for Investigative Journalism and the New York State Council on the Arts.

    Decorative image
  • Director of Programming, MA Design Research, Writing and Criticism

    Eric is a comedian and columnist. He currently pens the Catty Corner column in New York Review of Architecture. He is the co-founder of Talk Hole, a comedy media brand and former column in Interview and Gawker. At D-Crit, Eric fulfills numerous roles in the department as Director of Programming and Operations and as a faculty member—instructing the Applied Media Workshop, Thesis Development Workshop, and Design Writing and Research Summer Intensive. He is a former editor at Taschen, where he worked on art & photography titles as well as series' with The New York Times and National Geographic.

  • Author and Fast Company columnist

    Rob Walker is a journalist and columnist covering technology, design, business, and other subjects. A longtime contributor to The New York Times, he writes a column on branding for Fast Company, and has contributed to for Bloomberg Businessweek, The Atlantic, Fortune, Marketplace, and many other outlets. He is the coeditor of Lost Objects: 50 Stories about the Things We Miss and Why They Matter, and the author of The Art of Noticing. He is often called on as an expert commentator on the subject of material culture and branding, notably in the documentary Objectified. His newsletter is at robwalker.substack.com.

Guest Faculty & Critics

Writer and critic

Fall 2022 Critic-in-residence Vanessa Rosales is a Colombian-based writer and critic. Her second book Uncomfortable Woman was published in 2021 by Penguin Random House. She has a podcast that combines cultural criticism, the history and theory of style, women's history and literature as well as the multiplicity of the feminist perspective. As an essayist and public intellectual she has specialized in understanding everything that is uncomfortable about the ways in which the feminine has been constructed in historical, social and cultural terms.

She writes a weekly column for one of the major local newspapers El Espectador. She created and led the first Diploma in Critical Studies of Fashion for the Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano in the country.

She teaches critical fashion studies, women's literature and feminist theory in hybrid, independent, formats. Rosales has an MFA in Fashion Studies from Parsons The New School for Design, studied a masters in journalism and majored in history. Her work has been featured in Vestoj, The Business of Fashion, CNN Style, Vogue Latin America, BBC Mundo, and several Latin and Colombian publications. She is now working on her third book.

Author and editor

Craig Taylor is the author of New Yorkers: A City and Its People in Our Time and Londoners: The Days and Nights of London Now—As Told by Those Who Love It, Hate It, Live It, Left It, and Long for It. His two previous books, Return to Akenfield and One Million Tiny Plays About Britain, were adapted for the stage. He is the editor of the literary magazine Five Dials.

Critic, editor, and curator

Mimi Zeiger is a Los Angeles-based critic, editor, and curator.

She was co-curator of the U.S. Pavilion for the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale, curator of Soft Schindler at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture, and co-curator of the 2020-2021 Exhibit Columbus entitled New Middles: From Main Street to Megalopolis, What is the Future of the Middle City?

She has written for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Architectural Review, Metropolis, and Architect. She is an opinion columnist for Dezeen and former West Coast Editor of The Architects Newspaper. Zeiger is the 2015 recipient of the Bradford Williams Medal for excellence in writing about landscape architecture.

Zeiger is author of New Museums, Tiny Houses, Micro Green: Tiny Houses in Nature, and Tiny Houses in the City. In 1997, Zeiger founded loud paper, an influential zine and digital publication dedicated to increasing the volume of architectural discourse.

She has curated, contributed to, and collaborated on projects that have been shown at the Art Institute Chicago, 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale, the New Museum, Storefront for Art and Architecture, pinkcomma gallery, and the AA School. She co-curated Now, There: Scenes from the Post-Geographic City, which received the Bronze Dragon award at the 2015 Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture, Shenzhen.

She is visiting faculty at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) and teaches in the Media Design Practices MFA program at Art Center College of Design. She was co-president of the Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design and taught at the School of Visual Art, Art Center, Parsons New School of Design, and the California College of the Arts (CCA).

She holds a Master of Architecture degree from SCI-Arc and a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cornell University.

Current Students

Class of 2024

Alumni

Polly Adams

Class of 2020

Brooklyn, NY

Follow Polly Adams on Twitter: @pollyloutru  / Thesis

Peter Ahlberg

Class of 2021

New York City

Website  / Thesis

Nawar N. Al-Kazemi

Class of 2014

Kuwait City, Kuwait

Follow Nawar N. Al-Kazemi on Twitter: @Nawar_NAlKazemi  / Thesis

Lucas Albrecht

Class of 2023

Thesis

Mariam Aldhahi

Lila Allen

Class of 2016

New York City

Thesis

Esty Bagos

Class of 2023

Manila, Philippines

Thesis

Derek Bangle

Class of 2017

New York City

Ida C. Benedetto

Class of 2016

Brooklyn, New York

Follow Ida C. Benedetto on Twitter: @idamantium  / Thesis

Alper Besen

Class of 2015

Istanbul, Turkey

Alexander Bevier

Class of 2017

Washington State

Games Producer

Kimberlie Birks

Class of 2011

Thesis

Amelia Black

Brigette Brown

Class of 2013

Los Angeles, California

Thesis

Molly Butcher

Class of 2015

San Francisco, California

Designer & Writer

Lorena Canales

Class of 2016

Guadalajara, Mexico

Follow Lorena Canales on Twitter: @lorscee  / Thesis

John Cantwell

Class of 2010

New Jersey

Thesis

Aaron Chu

Class of 2021

New York City

Thesis

Olivia Coetzee

Class of 2017

Bay Area, California

Graphic Designer

Sarah Cox

Class of 2011

Detroit

Thesis

Tara Gupta Dabir

Class of 2012

Brooklyn, New York

Thesis

Jared Dalcourt

Class of 2022

Thesis

Lynda Decker

Class of 2014

New York City

Website  / Thesis

Deena Denaro

Class of 2020

Montclair, New Jersey

Follow Deena Denaro on Twitter: @Dna_DdB  / Thesis

Brittany Dickinson

Class of 2015

Carrboro, North Carolina

Follow Brittany Dickinson on Instagram: @brittanymdickinson

Pune Dracker

Anne Drape

Class of 2016

Kansas City

Thesis

Frederico Duarte

Class of 2010

Lisbon, Portugal

Follow Frederico Duarte on Twitter: @freduarte  / Thesis

Natalie Dubois

Class of 2019

New York City

Website  / Thesis

Mark Dudlik

Class of 2016

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Website  / Thesis

Michelle Duncan

Class of 2021

Brooklyn, New York

Thesis

Barbara Eldredge

Chappell Ellison

Class of 2010

Website  / Thesis

Cecilia Fagel

Meg Farmer

Class of 2015

Brooklyn, New York

Website

Laura Forde

Class of 2010

New York City

Website  / Thesis

Caterina Francisca

Class of 2014

Brooklyn, New York

Website  / Thesis

Sarah Froelich

Class of 2010

Park Hills, Missouri

Website  / Thesis

Cassandra Gerardo

Class of 2018

New York City

Website  / Thesis

Auston Gonzalez

Class of 2023

New York

Thesis

Clara Gross

Class of 2022

Berlin, Germany

Website  / Thesis

Kathryn Henderson

Class of 2010

New York City/Los Angeles

Website

Julia van den Hout-Fisbein

Class of 2012

New York City

Website  / Thesis

Samira Jain

Class of 2016

Seattle, Washington

Website  / Thesis

Chetan Kaashyap

Class of 2019

San Francisco, California

Thesis

John Kazior

Class of 2019

Malmö, Sweden

Website  / Thesis

Anna Kealey

Class of 2012

London, England

Follow Anna Kealey on Twitter: @annakealey  / Thesis

Komal Kehar

Class of 2018

New York City

Thesis

Jonathan Key

Class of 2021

New York City

Website  / Thesis

Yasmeen Khaja

Class of 2019

Kuwait

Website  / Thesis

Soyoun Kim

Class of 2016

South Korea

Follow Soyoun Kim on Twitter: @soyoun_k  / Thesis

Alex Klimoski

Class of 2016

New York City

Thesis

Emily Kwok

Class of 2023

New York City

Thesis

Aileen Kwun

Class of 2011

Brooklyn, New York

Thesis

Tiffany Lambert

Class of 2013

Website  / Thesis

Amélie Lamont

Class of 2021

Brooklyn, New York

Thesis

Anja Laubscher

Class of 2018

Toronto, Canada

Linkedin  / Thesis

Emily Leibin

Class of 2010

Connecticut, USA

Follow Emily Leibin on Instagram: @emilyleibinko  / Thesis

Derek Edward Love

Class of 2016

New York City

Website  / Thesis

Heba Malaeb

Class of 2018

Thesis

Hala Abdul Malak

Class of 2010

Beirut, Lebanon

Website  / Thesis

Saundra Marcel

Class of 2011

Thesis

Andrew McQuiston

Class of 2022

Thesis

Derrick Mead

Class of 2012

Red Hook, NY

Website  / Thesis

Sneha Mehta

Class of 2019

Mumbai, India

Website  / Thesis

Olivia Mercado

Class of 2019

Thesis

Susan Merritt

Class of 2015

San Diego, California

Follow Susan Merritt on Instagram: @susancmerritt

Evelyn Meynard

Class of 2023

New York City

Thesis

Katya Mezhibovskaya

Class of 2012

Brooklyn, New York

Website  / Thesis

Christina Milan

Class of 2015

William Myers

Class of 2010

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Follow William Myers on Twitter: @WMyersdesign  / Thesis

Joseph F. Nally

Class of 2020

Thesis

Mike Neal

Class of 2010

Thesis

Monica Nelson

Emma Ng

Class of 2017

Aotearoa, New Zealand

Website

Sandra Nuut

Class of 2014

Tallinn, Estonia

Website  / Thesis

Paul Olmer

Class of 2017

Brooklyn, New York

Anwulika Oputa

Class of 2021

Thesis

Lisa O’Neil

Class of 2018

Thesis

Emily R. Pellerin

Class of 2019

New York City

Website  / Thesis

Becky Quintal

Class of 2010

Austin, Texas

Linkedin  / Thesis

Anne Quito

Class of 2014

Brooklyn/Barcelona

Follow Anne Quito on Instagram: @annequito  / Thesis

Avinash Rajagopal

Joseph Ramsawak

Class of 2017

Paris, France

Linkedin

Shravani Rao

Class of 2016

Bangalore, India

Alan Rapp

Class of 2010

Thesis

Ian Beckman Reagan

Class of 2023

New York City

Thesis

Angela Riechers

Class of 2010

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Follow Angela Riechers on Instagram: @designspeakeasy  / Thesis

Shani Rodan

Class of 2018

Tel Aviv, Israel

Thesis

Casey Romaine

Class of 2021

New York City

Thesis

Erin Routson

Class of 2012

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Follow Erin Routson on Twitter: @dietcokeforever  / Thesis

Vera Sacchetti

Class of 2011

Basel, Switzerland

Website  / Thesis

Zachary Sachs

Class of 2011

New York City

Website  / Thesis

Trilby Schreiber

Class of 2015

New York City

Laura Scofield

Class of 2019

New York City

Website  / Thesis

Karisa Senavitis

Class of 2017

New Jersey

Website  / Thesis

Ridhima Sharma

Matt Shaw

Class of 2013

New York City

Website  / Thesis

Amna Siddiqui

Class of 2012

Brooklyn, New York

Follow Amna Siddiqui on Twitter: @itsamnasiddiqui  / Thesis

Lisa Silbermayr

Anna Marie Smith

Class of 2014

Bangkok, Thailand

Follow Anna Marie Smith on Instagram: @annamarrr  / Thesis

Bryn Smith

Class of 2013

Thesis

Cornelia Smith

Class of 2022

Thesis

Jessie Sun

Class of 2023

Beijing, China

Thesis

Roshita Thomas

Class of 2022

Thesis

Amanda Vallance

Class of 2014

Thesis

Brooke Viegut

Class of 2022

Thesis

Michele Washington

Class of 2011

Thesis

Ann Weiser

Class of 2012

Hyde Park, NY

Follow Ann Weiser on Twitter: @damnann  / Thesis

Jiwon Woo

Class of 2017

New York City

Molly Woodward

Class of 2016

Brooklyn, New York

Cheryl Yau

Galina Yordanov

Class of 2020

Beirut, Lebanon

Follow Galina Yordanov on Twitter: @galinayordanov  / Thesis

Jenni Young

Class of 2016

San Francisco, California

Follow Jenni Young on Twitter: @thenontraveller  / Thesis

Aneta Zeleznikova

Class of 2019

Prague, Czech Republic

Thesis

Youyou Zhou

Class of 2021

Thesis

Justin Zhuang

Amelie Znidaric

Class of 2011

Thesis