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

Multiplicities – SVA MA Design Research

Molly Woodward


Molly Ghost Sign Palimpsest

“It is the place where, without admixture or confusion, all the places of the world, seen from every angle, coexist.”

– Jorge Luis Borges, The Aleph


“When he enters the territory of which Eutropia is the capital, the traveller sees not one city but many, of equal size and not unlike one another, scattered over a vast, rolling plateau. Eutropia is not one, but all these cities together; only one is inhabited at a time, the others are empty; and this process is carried out in rotation.”

– Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities


“We have been criticized for overquoting literary authors. But when one writes, the only question is which other machine the literary machine can be plugged into, must be plugged into in order to work.”

– Gilles Deleuze & Félix Guattari, Rhizome


Building walls are not just the dividing line between inside and out, they are an assemblage of all of its histories–or rather, a nomadology, a network of its lines seen altogether all at once.

The texts and images applied to the building no longer have a chronology. They are in a perpetual state of existence, inhabiting the vibrating space of the in between.

They are examples of an antigenealogy, not a direction of time, but an anarchic rejection of linear history, accessible from any entry.

Some parts are faded beyond recognition and beg to be reconstituted in order to be read. But any attempt to recreate an individual layer would devalue the thing. Mimicry would only describe an aspect of what it is, a static tracing that dilutes the experience and the essence of the whole.     

The surface no longer has a beginning or an end, the layers have already melted and mutated together to reveal every layer all at once. Each slight erasure adds to the mutation. Collectively, these pieces are “all the more total for being fragmented.”