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 Meek Shall Inherit – SVA MA Design Research

Cassandra Gerardo

The Meek Shall Inherit

The sub-culture of Silicon Valley has become more prominent within the last few years, thanks to news scandals and HBO’s hit series Silicon Valley. With money flowing and the tech sector growing, nerds are ruling the world. But this sub-culture has taken the nerd stereotype and embraced it, becoming a group of Peter Pans isolated from the rest of the world. Take, for example, the slacker outfit of jeans, sneakers and a hoodie. Casual dress has been a uniform staple within the industry. Steve Jobs reported wearing the same turtleneck and jeans ensemble every day to avoid the distraction of deciding a daily wardrobe or having to think about fashion in general. Silicon Valley rejects the concept of the power suit, showing an indifference to fashion, or at least to generalized public conceptions about professional attire.


These outfits often contain wearable technology, such as Fitbits and smart watches, tracking an individual’s biometrics. By measuring and striving for optimal human output, these devices enable engineers to work long hours to meet demanding deadlines. While creating products to enhance Silicon Valley worker output, these items flow into the consumer market and normalize the need to constantly seek peak performance in everyday life.


This subculture ideology aims to maintain a strictly male — and white — presence by gaslighting or outright sexually harassing their female collogues. This boys’ club marginalizes women by objectifying them at professional conferences, and also by disrespecting female by treating them as interns. Female interaction that was unattainable in youth becomes a selective decision to seclude in adulthood. While these attributes obviously don’t apply to everyone working within Silicon Valley, the group face put forward by those in power influences outsiders to accept and proliferate misogyny, racism, and — through tech — limited face-to-face interaction.