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

Working Lunch with Nick Rappolt and Matt Basford: “Data and Creativity—Friends or Foes?” – SVA MA Design Research

Working Lunch with Nick Rappolt and Matt Basford: “Data and Creativity—Friends or Foes?”

These days, you can’t do anything without being told that data can help you. But however useful it can be, a battle is currently being fought between data and human instinct: “hunch,” or “gut feel” if you prefer. We’re often taught that math equals fact, and that to measure something is to understand it. Yet human insight and creative interpretation remains crucial. Data tells you what—but it’s only a creative human being that can interpret the why. In this lunchtime talk, Nick Rappolt and Matt Basford will explore this challenge, and explain the working practice at Beyond (Applied Creativity) that brings data and creativity firmly together.

Nick Rappolt is co-founder and CEO of Beyond, which was created five years ago with funding from our group parent company, Next 15. Together they saw the need for brands to digitally innovate in their marketing, products and services, and to do this through a company built digitally from the ground up, rather than modifying an existing business for purpose. The company has been created through the acquisition and merger of three companies located in the United States and UK.The pervasiveness of technology and explosion of data sources means that brands can innovate faster with their products and services. Nick’s role is to achieve Beyond’s vision within this, manage its growth and investments, as well as to constantly innovate in our own service model. He is responsible for our clients and people across all four offices: London, New York, San Francisco and Mountain View. Nick co-founded his first company at the age of 26, which was acquired after three years by Bite Communications, a global PR agency. Nick’s career has spanned working in advertising through to PR and digital marketing. Nick is proud to work and have worked with some of the world’s largest and most disruptive brands, from Apple, Facebook and Google through to Virgin, Novartis, GE and Accel. Nick graduated from Leeds University with a degree in Economics and Philosophy.

Matt Basford is the general manager of the New York office, leading the growth of Beyond’s fastest expanding office. Matt operates at the center of Beyond’s design, technology and strategy specialties, building a multi-disciplinary team, driving business development and client satisfaction. Matt joined Beyond in 2011, coming from sister-Next Fifteen agency Bite Communications, where he helped set up the US digital department. Matt is a long-time New Yorker, graduating from NYU, and currently residing in Brooklyn.