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

Open / Closed – SVA MA Design Research

Shani Rodan

Open / Closed

Shani Rodan

The city is crowded. People are Moving all the time. Walking. Almost running.Never stop. Skyscrapers are all around Casting a shade that creates a drama in the air.

It is a typical view of Manhattan, in Times Square. Very local. But actually, it seems like the only thing that is local here, are the buildings. They are the habitats of this city, of the square. The people come and go, always busy and worried, always in a rush. The digital screens shine in artificial neon colors and cars are honking all over. It is hard to imagine that it used to be even more crowded here only a few years ago.Times square was officially closed for vehicles on 2009. The decision made by the municipality in order to create a better atmosphere, and to make Time square more accessible to thousands of people who arrive in the square every day and Create more space for pedestrians. (The funny thing is – there is no actual square).You can’t stop wondering how it was before the car traffic was limited. At the current situation, the streets are full of people. There is no doubt that dedicating the square for pedestrians only was a necessary step that enables people to feel more comfortable in the urban space, however, it is yet far away from creating a dialogue between citizens and the city and, citizen and themselves.

How can this hectic, demanding, a powerful and never-ending city can enable the existence of communal life?

Or maybe it is not a contradiction at all?

How can the urban environment contribute to the community system? How does the city structure affect the way people use the scope of the city?

A few days ago, I slowly walked down the street when surprisingly noticed a roadblock, lots of people and positive vibes in the air. A Sunday market. Vehicles are not allowed. People are smiling and hanging around in a weekend mood. A celebration of the city and the people in the public space. The road that always plays the role of a tool for getting from point A to B  is now playing the role of a goal. People walk on the asphalt, stop for a while, talk to each other, buy local products. They are taking a part in the formation of the urban community system.

Is it possible that the road will be closed permanently?

Or should I say, we will open the roads for the people.