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

Essay – Research Types – SVA MA Design Research



Moon Memes and Fashion Themes: Social Media at the Turn of the 20th Century

The invention of the camera provided individuals with a chance to see a great deal of the world outside of their microcosm, allowed them to share updates of their lives with their family, and provided a visual source of entertainment and activity through the act of collecting portraits of beautiful women, celebrities and pets. While […]

Essay, Excerpt, Thesis Research

Making Room for Baby

Lila Allen, Class of 2016, wrote her thesis on the design of children’s spaces. Her research was adapted for publication in the 4th issue of Kinder: A Journal Dedicated To Child Design, Past, Present, and Future. Consider the choice between two cribs: One is a Vetro, a fully recyclable, limited-edition acrylic pen by Nursery Works […]


The Price of Loyalty: Paper Receipts and Their Implications

“Do you have a rewards card?” asked Luz, a stout cashier wearing a t-shirt that read “Attention Kmart Shoppers,” as she rang up a single pack of Orbit Sweet Mint gum. “No,” I replied. “Would you like to sign up for one? It only takes a minute,” she pressed. “No, thanks,” I said as the […]

Essay, Lecture

Curiosity-Driven Research at CERN

Straddling the border between Switzerland and France, CERN or the European Organization for Nuclear Research is the largest particle physics research complex in the world and home to the most powerful particle accelerator ever built— the Large Hadron Collider. To give you a sense of scale, imagine a circular tunnel with a circumference of roughly […]


(212) 431-6189

Meg Farmer finds human traces of Donald Judd all but erased in the renovation (and museumification) of his house at 101 Spring Street, New York.


Evolution of the Poison Label: From Skull and Crossbones to Mr. Yuk

Walk through the isles of a pharmacy today and most product labels will have icons that illustrate the integrity of the product, like the rabbit that assures us that the product is cruelty free and not tested on our furry friends. And, the icon of the three green arrows curving towards one another in a […]


Arranging a Room Full of Possibilities

Sleeping on a tatami mattress, which could be endlessly repositioned, allowed Justin Zhuang to turn his childhood bedroom into a space of possibilities.


Poppy Red, Poppy Patois

Bryn Smith reflects on the paradox of a now-fashionable hue that we also use to commemorate the first Great War.


Edith Wharton’s Houses

Architecture critic Alexandra Lange extolls on Edith Wharton’s fluency as a decorator and architect of the domestic milieu


A Life in Lacquer

Katya Mezhibovskaya on the color that puts the world at our fingertips.


Rockwood Revisited

Zachary Sachs conjures a (fateful) day in the life of his childhood home on Rockwood Street, Dallas.


Blue Walls

Metropolis magazine associate editor Avinash Rajagopal on the most comforting shade of pastel blue known to mankind.


An Uphill Struggle

R/GA Executive Creative Director David Womack weighs up survival versus comfort as he assembles a home-away-from-home in his backpack.