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

Culture Crunch – Research Types – SVA MA Design Research

Culture Crunch

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Join the Fun!

The gamification of everything is here to stay.  Our relationship with technology has eroded our attention spans to less than that of a virtual gnat, so anything that captures even an extra millisecond of our consideration is adding value.  Companies are investing significant sums to perfect the secret sauce of play and productivity, and numerous examples of successes are […]

Culture Crunch

Bicycle Blues

Walking on West 21st Street, between Broadway and 7th Avenue, there are numerous bicycles tied to bicycle racks, street poles, and even trash cans on the sidewalk. These inappropriately parked bicycles clutter the walkway, creating an unpleasant, and stressful pedestrian navigation experience. This disarray of bicycle parking opportunities is caused by careless design and a […]

Culture Crunch

The Meek Shall Inherit

The sub-culture of Silicon Valley has become more prominent within the last few years, thanks to news scandals and HBO’s hit series Silicon Valley. With money flowing and the tech sector growing, nerds are ruling the world. But this sub-culture has taken the nerd stereotype and embraced it, becoming a group of Peter Pans isolated […]

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Lately there seems to be a marked decline in the quality of the NYC taxi experience.  Cabs are dirtier, smellier, and more rattly. There seem to be more new drivers who are less knowledgeable about basic city geography – just yesterday a driver was bizarrely confused by my request to go uptown forty blocks on […]

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Sudden Death

It was a sudden death, no prolonged sickness, no signs or warning that it was the end.  This week, from one minute to the next, my Apple Macbook Pro notebook computer expired.  It felt like a betrayal.  How could this object fail me without warning?  Immediately, I rushed the computer to Mike’s Tech Shop on […]

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Instagram’s Repetition of Desire

Instagram exists as a facilitator between individuals seeking validation. As Elaine Scarry discusses in her book The Body in Pain, we figuratively turn our bodies “inside-out” by making our private internal desires “exterior and sharable” (284). Instagram also works as an extension of our bodies by allowing us an outlet for selective memories. As one […]

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Writing / Typing- The evolution of body gestures

Handwriting is an action created by the human body. A handwritten piece is a physical trace that lives individually in the world as a separate entity. One’s handwriting is a personal possession, almost an intimate treasure. The handwritten piece is an evidence of many slices of information. It is a reflection of the writer’s mood, […]

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Inhale, Explode

On October 23rd, in their “Live Smarter” section, Mental Floss published an article titled “Need to Calm Yourself Down? Try This Military-Approved Breathing Technique”.   The article — a small, friendly, 150-word thing — is addressed to an audience that work in an office setting, and encounter stress there. It offers the advice: “Take a […]

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Interesting, isn’t it?

On Saturday evening, I attended the premiere performance of a new contemporary dance company, Matheta Dance, in the East Village. The performance was divided into two parts: “Keep On” and “Keep Up.” Part one of the performance was a call to action to be more aware of how women are ill-treated, underestimated, and undervalued in […]

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Foreign Trade Zone #163

The Taíno people who lived on Boriquén – now called Puerto Rico – were decimated by the Spanish germs, guns and greed that swept across the Caribbean archipelago in the 1500s in search of gold. Before disappearing under banana farms and clothing factories, the Taíno culture left a legacy of food, musical instruments, the hammock and […]

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Seeking a Metaphor

It’s the coldest day of the year. You emerge from the Lex Av/59th St subway station. You are welcomed back to the world in kind: H&M, The Gap, Banana Republic greet you with their warm glow of abundance as you transition from grimy stairs to grimy sidewalk. You hunch your shoulders, bow your head against […]

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The Real Thing

What can we predict with the introduction of the latest leap of technology? When is a sea change in fact just an iteration that follows previously observed patterns? That saying about things being crystal clear in the rearview mirror certainly seems to apply to Facebook.  Who could have predicted that the social media platform would […]

Culture Crunch

Capture the moment

Three days after we leave Israel, my sister announces that they will be coming to NYC in October. It is the holiday season in Israel so they can have a long vacation and visit us.  We are so happy to hear the good news and when we check their actual vacation dates, we are even […]

Culture Crunch

War, what is it good for?

On Oct 6, 2017 news broke about the ambush and killing of 3 US Special Forces soldiers  in the African state of Niger. That same week a new set of war game posters were spotted in the New York subway advertising the latest immersive video game to take your mind off — what else? — […]

Culture Crunch

Artificial Memory

The long-anticipated Blade Runner 2049, Denis Villeneuve’s sequel to the Ridley Scott 1982 dystopian classic, currently showing at the cinemas grapples with the idea of artificial consciousness. Throughout the film one continuously questions what is real and what is not. In the movie, the protagonist, officer K (Ryan Gosling), has the same job Rick Deckard […]

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Bikini’s Rise and Fall

  Historically, exposing a women’s navel has been considered taboo. In many cultures around the world, the area has been associated with fertility and was considered too sacred to show deliberately. In the Western world, specifically, the navel was seen as an erogenous zone that should be covered to thwart sexual provocation.   In 1946, […]

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Freedom From

They survey me, but I walk past the first group of men without incident. As I pass the second, one of them chooses to concretize his ownership over the moment by saying to me, “Damn, girl, gotta shave those legs!” The words enter the air and carve out a shared space between the two clusters […]

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Subjugation Sofa

The term “producer” as used by the American film industry is a curious thing.  What, exactly, do these people produce?  They do not create anything that appears onscreen, and the function is generally acknowledged as that of a “shepherd” on a film project.  Would anyone call an actual shepherd a producer?  In what other realm […]

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Products Of Material Culture

Products Of Material Culture   As socialized people who live in a globalized world community, we are all part of the infamous consumption culture. We buy all kinds of different commodities such as food, clothing, shoes, and accessories. The products one owns help to create an identity which represents personal preferences and point of view, […]

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Ad Blocker

Ads seem to be everywhere. They’re on subway walls, in taxi cabs, on our phones, hidden in emails, in the refrigerator at work, at the bank, in the hospital examination rooms. In our closets. Out of sheer curiosity, I began to wonder just how many ads I’m exposed during a typical day.   According to […]