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Announcement
October 1, 2018

Call for applications: Master’s in Design Research, Writing and Criticism

School of Visual Arts (SVA)

Scenes from the Department of Design Research, Writing and Criticism. Email us at [email protected] to arrange a tour today.

"Designers that rise to the top can write, articulate, weave a narrative, and communicate ideas in a compelling way."
–Khoi Vinh, Principal Designer, Adobe

Interested in the contexts and consequences of design? Passionate about storytelling in multiple media? The SVA MA in Design Research, Writing & Criticism is now accepting applications for fall 2019.

This two-semester MA in Design Research, Writing & Criticism provides intensive instruction in techniques for researching, analyzing, and interpreting design and its cultural and environmental implications. Combining humanities-oriented critical thinking with journalistic tools, the program focuses on producing writing and editorial content intended to inform and engage broad audiences. The rigorous one-year MA with thesis offers a high-impact, targeted program well suited to the circumstances of both established professionals and recent graduates wishing to continue their studies at an advanced level.

The program's curriculum aims to generate provocative new thinking about design and shape the conversation around how design is engendered, presented, and evaluated. We study design in all its manifestations, going beyond the glossy images to discover how things actually get used and discarded, and how they impinge upon our daily reality. In providing the tools for constructing compelling narratives about design through writing and other media, the program prepares students for leadership positions in research-driven design practices, journalism and publishing focused on design, or for PhD research in a design-related subject. However, the comprehensive set of research, writing, and critical thinking skills that students gain through the program can apply to a variety of career paths and entrepreneurial endeavors.

The MA in Design Research, Writing and Criticism features an unparalleled core faculty such as: PIN-UP co-founder Pierre Alexandre de Looz; The New York Times culture reporter Robin Pogrebin; author and graphic designer Steven Heller; Content Matters principal Jennifer Rittner; First Look Media executive producer Leital Molad; The Incidental Steward author Akiko Busch; writer and filmmaker Adam Harrison Levy; and design writer and critic Karrie Jacobs. With numerous guest lecturers and critics visiting the department per semester—such as TED design curator Chee Pearlman, The New York Times senior critic Michael Kimmelman, New Journalism progenitor Gay Talese, MoMA Director of Design Rob Giampietro, 2018 Venice Architecture Biennial US curator Mimi Zeiger, interaction designer Dan K. Chen, media critic Virginia Heffernan, technology ethnographer Tricia Wang, author and Studio 360 host Kurt Andersen, urban designers Interboro Partners, MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte, art critic and biographer Deborah Solomon, IDEO strategist Alex Gallafent, and architecture curator Sean Anderson—the program connects students to inspirational mentors and help them to forge relationships with potential employers and colleagues.

Our graduates have had remarkable success, going on to work at publications including Metropolis, Domus, Curbed, ArchDaily, Surface, PIN-UP, and The Archictect’s Newspaper; museums and institutions like MoMA, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Vitra Design Museum, Storefront for Art and Architecture, Public Policy Lab, The Glass House, and Chamber Gallery; at tech companies such as Google, Facebook and Squarespace; at design consultancies like IDEO, SYPartners, and Ziba Design; at research-driven design firms, like 2x4, Steven Holl Architects, and Project Projects; and have founded start-up consultancies and publications, such as Superscript, Original Copy, and CLOG.

Priority deadline for online application and supporting materials is January 15, 2019 for those wishing to be considered for first-round scholarship funding. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis thereafter, as space allows. Please contact us for details.

Please contact us to arrange a tour or attend our open house Wednesday, November 7, 2018.

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