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

Hala Abdul Malak – SVA MA Design Research

Hala A.Malak is design critic, curator and writer, branding consultant, and Middle East expert with her own particular view of the world. Born in Beirut during the civil war, she grew up, worked, and studied internationally, in Lebanon, USA, Canada, Dubai, Holland, Morocco and Paris. Hala’s multicultural background is reflected in her versatile approach and continuous interest in design, identity, and social change. With more than fifteen years experience in the creative and communication field—initially as a regional strategic brand planner—she has worked on award-winning campaigns for blue-chip clients like P&G, Audi, GSK, MasterFoods, and Visa. Hala was also an instructor at the American University in Dubai, and has guest lectured and managed workshops internationally. She currently teaches in the Strategic Design Management program at Parsons The New School of Design in NYC.

Hala headed and managed a small boutique agency in Dubai before branching out on her own. She currently heads her own consultancy studio, The Design Critic, and works on a multitude of projects in the US, Europe, and the Middle East. Her latest projects have included setting up brand and digital strategies of, an online platform to shop and discover design from the Middle East, and Dar El Hekma, one of the leading design schools in Saudi Arabia. Hala is co-founder of KAFLAB, a platform to experiment with Arab identity through the lens of design and art. She has also done extensive research on the Kafiye, uncovering a powerful Arab icon that led her to curate “Beyond the Cloth: The Kafiye Project” exhibition in NYC featuring over twenty artists, designers, and photographers.

Today, Hala is an ambassador of design from and about the Arab World, opening up the discourse and pushing boundaries across the region and in the West. She currently resides and works out of Brooklyn, NY.

Selected Research & Writing