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

Design and Values: US National Park Maps in the Twenty-First Century – SVA MA Design Research

Anne Drape

Design and Values: US National Park Maps in the Twenty-First Century

Neo-vintage travel poster of a series illustrating US National Parks. Illustration by Steven Thomas, type design by Alan Kegler, 2013, courtesy of Print Collection.

Historically, maps produced by the US National Park Service have reflected a commitment to resource protection, public education, and stewardship. By looking at the design evolution of maps from the mid-twentieth century through today, it is possible to see how the values espoused by these maps have changed—and in fact promote an engagement with nature that has little to do with reality. Visitor “interactions” with National Park monuments and sites are, arguably, a myth. This research demonstrates that this myth is manipulated through the design of maps and map-related artifacts such as posters and games, making it possible to characterize today’s National Park Service maps as documents that speak more to marketing than map-making.