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

e.

designresearch@sva.edu

t.

@dcrit

p.

(212) 592-2228

Essay – Research Types – SVA MA Design Research

Essay

Essay, unMute

B-F-FitBit

This essay is a part of unMUTE, a collection of pieces written by participants in the 2020 Design Writing and Research Summer Intensive Online. Faded from use, and pigmented in such an of-the-moment lavender that the color’s prominence in the zeitgeist seems particularly notable merely for its omission from one of Pantone’s yearly lists. On […]

Essay, unMute

Permeable Barriers

This essay is a part of unMUTE, a collection of pieces written by participants in the 2020 Design Writing and Research Summer Intensive Online. Only a few months ago, when my movement was not constricted by quarantine, my days were punctuated by passage through many doors: openings that marked entry into work, school, the homes […]

Essay, unMute

An Ethical Dilemma of Faux-mage

This essay is a part of unMUTE, a collection of pieces written by participants in the 2020 Design Writing and Research Summer Intensive Online. When I made the decision to go vegan in 2008, figuring out replacements for foods I’d miss was a challenge. While I was never a huge lover of cheese, I found […]

Essay, unMute

Under

This essay is a part of unMUTE, a collection of pieces written by participants in the 2020 Design Writing and Research Summer Intensive Online. Europe’s first underwater restaurant opened in Lindesnes, Norway, in March of 2019. Under (also meaning wonder in Norwegian) is nestled in the rocky coastline of the country’s southernmost point and partially […]

Essay, unMute

Walking America’s Factory Floors with Chris Payne

This essay is a part of unMUTE, a collection of pieces written by participants in the 2020 Design Writing and Research Summer Intensive Online. Not too many people’s day jobs put them at the top of a rocket-launch platform on a Tuesday and on the factory floor of America’s oldest hat manufacturer on a Friday. […]

Essay, unMute

The Cornologist

This essay is a part of unMUTE, a collection of pieces written by participants in the 2020 Design Writing and Research Summer Intensive Online. Two friends in New York City—an over-enthusiastic Joanna and an apathetic Liz—meet up during the 2020 lockdown for to-go drinks at their favorite bar and wind up hanging out on the […]

Essay, unMute

The Hummingbird Dance

This essay is a part of unMUTE, a collection of pieces written by participants in the 2020 Design Writing and Research Summer Intensive Online. With the morning dew still present in the garden, the white-whiskered hermit hummingbird feeds on the Azucena flowers. Its needle-thin beak darts and its wings flap at high speed as it […]

Essay, unMute

In Appreciation of the Bobby Pin

This essay is a part of unMUTE, a collection of pieces written by participants in the 2020 Design Writing and Research Summer Intensive Online. I should have gotten a haircut before the quarantine began. But who anticipated how long it would last or that my hair would grow so long? It’s not a big deal—certainly […]

Essay, unMute

Engineered Nature

This essay is a part of unMUTE, a collection of pieces written by participants in the 2020 Design Writing and Research Summer Intensive Online. The Nelson chair has no parts. No confusing assembly instructions with cartoon drawings of androgynous stick figures wielding hammers and screwdrivers. In fact, there are no nails, screws, adhesives, or joinery […]

Essay, unMute

The Can Opener

This essay is a part of unMUTE, a collection of pieces written by participants in the 2020 Design Writing and Research Summer Intensive Online. The first aisle to clear out at the local Kroger was the canned food aisle. We never ate much canned food, but when we stocked up for the COVID-19 shelter in […]

Essay, unMute

Natasha Jen: Craving Diversity—A Messy Process

This essay is a part of unMUTE, a collection of pieces written by participants in the 2020 Design Writing and Research Summer Intensive Online. “I arrived a little early.” Graphic designer Natasha Jen appears on our Zoom via video. Distinct and respectful, she is not only ahead of time but also directing the discipline of […]

Essay, unMute

The Panicked Pandemic Call

This essay is a part of unMUTE, a collection of pieces written by participants in the 2020 Design Writing and Research Summer Intensive Online. SCENE: March 10, 2020, at 7:30pm Two university colleagues on a call facing uncertainty due to the looming pandemic. CHARACTERS: Donna – frenzied faculty member Mary  – exhausted colleague and program […]

Essay, unMute

A Pre-Wedding Exchange

This essay is a part of unMUTE, a collection of pieces written by participants in the 2020 Design Writing and Research Summer Intensive Online. Scene: A young couple sitting in their living room. Sam: It looks like I’ll be taking shifts in the ICU starting next week. Things are looking pretty serious. John: I’m sorry, […]

Essay, unMute

Dialogue

This essay is a part of unMUTE, a collection of pieces written by participants in the 2020 Design Writing and Research Summer Intensive Online. The scene: A zoom gallery view, filled with 30+ callers. Everyone: Amen Chaplain Beth: Thank you all for joining us today. Please feel free to leave the call at your own […]

Essay, unMute

Eight Steps Up

This essay is a part of unMUTE, a collection of pieces written by participants in the 2020 Design Writing and Research Summer Intensive Online. I live behind the stoop. It’s the staircase I pass as I round the corner to my apartment, the English basement tucked under our brownstone. The occasional package left in the […]

Essay, unMute

What’s in a Mailbox?

This essay is a part of unMUTE, a collection of pieces written by participants in the 2020 Design Writing and Research Summer Intensive Online. According to the U.S. Postal Service, the first private mail receptacles came into use in 1896. They were a hodgepodge of whatever usable items people found around their properties: cigar boxes, […]

Essay

Why I Teach What I Teach

To answer the question, why I teach, I must return to why I design, why I art direct, why I write, and why I helped found this program. It’s a simple evolution. I stumbled into graphic design while pursuing a job as a cartoonist and illustrator for an underground newspaper. I loved to draw, although […]

Essay

Overlooked/Underappreciated

These pieces were written for Rob Walker’s Narrative Strategies for Objects project as part of the 2019 Design Writing and Research Summer Intensive. They are published in Overlooked/Underappreciated, an examination of the minutiae of quotidian life.

Essay

The Personal Booth

The personal booth at Don Filippo Pizzeria, perhaps the only one of its kind in New York City, is nearly invisible. It’s tucked between two standard booths, beneath a small TV at ceiling height, just past the register. Large enough to fit one comfortably, with enough room for bags and coat.

Essay

Service Door

Though it’s not unique to New York, the service door entrance is used in a way that is characteristically New York. New Yorkers use this space as an outlet, as a piece of municipal furniture. As a door setback from the sidewalk, it offers a place of refuge.