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

Susan Merritt – SVA MA Design Research

Susan Merritt started her career as a graphic designer by freelancing with the Letterform Research and Design Team while a postgraduate student in Graphic Design at the Basel School of Design. After moving from the compact land-locked country of Switzerland to the water-locked island of O’ahu, Susan stepped into the role of design educator at the University of Hawai‘i. She continues to teach, now at San Diego State University where she has served as head of the Graphic Design program since 2005. She values experiential learning through travel and ranks high on her must-visit list sites that focus on the history of the book and the evolution of typography. Examples of her one-of-a-kind and limited edition artist’s books can be found in special collections of the New York Public Library; San Diego State University; the Weingart Archive at the Museum of Design, Zürich; and Z. Smith Reynolds Library at Wake Forest University. Susan is co-author of The Web Design WOW! Book and author of ancillary materials for Meggs’ History of Graphic Design, Edition 4.

She lives in San Diego with her husband Calvin Woo of Honolulu in a 1912 Craftsman-style bungalow outfitted with period furniture and other alluring stuff, including unique examples of consumer packaging that feed her fascination for cross-cultural design. She and Calvin cofounded the nonprofit Design Innovation Institute (Dii) to advocate on behalf of design and raise awareness of all manner of design practice.