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

Deena Denaro – SVA MA Design Research

Story is at the core of everything Deena does.

A serial expat, Deena’s love affair with design, media production, and cultural understanding began with a student exchange to Denmark when she was 16 and has led her to running workshops in such unique places such as Malta and the deep countryside of Oudenaarde, Belgium.  

After a career as camera person in both Hollywood and Scandinavia she pursued a degree in Industrial Design at Pratt Institute where she focused her talents on the interpretive storytelling techniques inherent in design. Ensuring that the wider aims of a project aren’t lost in translation, Deena collaborates with cross-disciplinary specialists to produce immersive exhibitions, live events, and media projects.  

A series of fourteen 4-hour films for Marina Abramoviç required extensive adaptation, while an experiential marketing campaign for Hendrick’s Gin featured multiple deployments of a Victorian rail carriage across Europe. “Operation Video Tag” projected Deena’s award-winning short film “Reverse the Wave” on prominent London buildings in order to reach new audiences.  And while convalescing from surgery, Deena mined the collections of the Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide to develop the branded architecture for their “Wall of Honour” Memorial.

Having served as Managing Editor for Material ConneXion’s MATTER Magazine and written for Core77 and Blueprint Magazine, Deena delves deep into the backstories of some of the most pertinent topics in architecture, design and urban planning. Her 2005 feature article on the 2nd International Architecture Biennale of Rotterdam entitled “Surviving the Flood” focused on the relation between water and urban design and was a rallying cry from the design community to address the challenges presented by climate change.  It was published a mere two days before Hurricane Katrina made landfall in New Orleans.  

But it was while teaching design in the intensely repressive cultures of public and corporate education that Deena became interested in the “drama of innovation.”  Deena is endlessly fascinated with the personal and cultural forces at play when a visionary dares to try to make something better.