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

Research – SVA MA Design Research


Excerpt, Resource

Robinson Crusoe

Robinson Crusoe sets up his new home in a cave on a desert island and finds that by means of a chair and table, some shelves and hooks his situation looks a lot brighter.

Thesis Research, Video

Khaleeji Design: An Imported Aesthetic?

Nawar N. Al-Kazemi advocates for design students in the Gulf region and an education embracing local history, design aesthetics, and typography.


(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.

Excerpt, Thesis Research

Brand Politic: Contextualizing Design’s Superpowers in Emergent States

Using first-person interviews with graphic designers and project managers in South Sudan, Anne Quito recounts the challenges and opportunities of creating a national corporate identity suite, and explores the politics, aesthetics, and pragmatics of representation at a national scale.

Excerpt, Thesis Research

Exhibiting Fashion: Between Culture and Commerce

Sandra Nuut considers innovative instances of fashion curation and demonstrates the ways in which new critical approaches might provide inspiration and exemplars for museums seeking to escape commercial constraints.


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.

Lecture, Video

Private Lives in the Big City

The New York Times columnist Constance Rosenblum explores the distinctive habitats of New Yorkers.