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

The frame: – SVA MA Design Research

Paul Olmer

The frame:

The frame is important, the proscenium reassuring.


Asked to meditate on the collision of theater and TV news, here and now, I think about the frame and the proscenium.


The frame sits across the room, a flat screen TV on the wall. The frame sits on an ottoman at my feet, my laptop computer cracked open. The frame is held between my hands, within a foot from my face, an IPad. The frame, smaller and closer now, sits cradled in my right hand, an IPhone.


I need to know the rules. I need to know where the boundaries are. I need to see the frame. I need to control the frame. Not the events within, but the frame itself. Where is the frame in relation to my eye? Where is the frame in relation to my body? Am I in control of where the frame is? Am I comfortable?


The proscenium is comforting. It is over there. I can see it from afar. I know something will happen over there, on the stage, framed by the proscenium. I will witness it, but I will also be a little distanced from the event. I will have some company in my witnessing. We are a community of witnesses, together if only for the evening.


What is TV news now? It comes to me through a series of different frames. I am uncomfortable. There is no boundary. It is almost always coming to me, and me alone. I have no witness to witness me witnessing. I do not trust the people talking to me. I am too close, too near. I do not know the rules. I am not in control.