Writing Research Curation

D-Crit

Design writing, research, curation & criticism, through printed & online media, radio, video, exhibitions & events.

Formerly known as D-Crit, SVA MA Design Research, Writing & Criticism is a one-year graduate program devoted to the study of design, its contexts & consequences. Info at designresearch.sva.edu.

Contact

Design Criticism Department
School of Visual Arts
136 West 21st Street, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10011

Working alongside New York’s best-respected editors, authors, critics, curators, and historians, SVA MFA Design Criticism students learn how to build an argument, develop a critical stance, and hone a writerly voice. Instructed by such faculty members as MoMA’s senior curator of Design and Architecture Paola Antonelli, urban design critic Karrie Jacobs, and online media maven Elizabeth Spiers, students communicate their unique perspectives through a range of media, including radio podcasts, exhibitions, video essays, events, syllabi, online media, and books.games

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Featured D-Crit Alumni

John Cantwell

He took a background in English and philosophy, mixed with some hardheaded financial website analysis (and a dash of long-form improv comedy bravado) and brought it to his study of the built environment. The result is well-reported, witty missives from design’s front lines. More

Frederico Duarte

A born connector, he is now running events, curating exhibitions, writing for international publications, and generally helping to re-shape the global design conversation. More

Barbara Eldredge

The off-Broadway lighting designer who got to work with Paola Antonelli at The Museum of Modern Art via a shooting range in northwestern Wyoming. More

Chappell Ellison

She took a running leap away from design practice and northeastern Texas, landed in the middle of the NYC design criticism community, and found her true voice as a writer and editor. More

Molly Heintz

A design time-traveler, she left her pre-D-Crit study of antiquities; now she is defining the future of design and architecture. More

Aileen Kwun

With an ear for language, and a nose for a good story, she used D-Crit to sharpen her design savvy. Now she applies her expertise as manager of a design studio, and writes for top magazines. More

Derrick Mead

From an orchard in upstate New York to an MFA at D-Crit, he’s on a mission to build repair back into the industrial design process. More

Will Myers

The business manager who wanted to write a book on biology and design, and get it published—and did! More

Avinash Rajagopal

A mover and shaker in NYC’s design and architecture publishing scene, his Indian roots are never far away. More

Alan Rapp

A book editor with a philosophical turn of mind, he quit San Francisco for NYC and a chance to write thoughtful design commentary, and to inspire emerging designer and critics through his teaching. More

Vera Sacchetti

Hailing from Lisbon, she challenged the social design movement to do better and was catapulted to the web editorship of Domus in Milan. More

Amelie Znidaric

Already a design journalist in Vienna, her dream was to become a design curator. She graduated from D-Crit in May 2009 and two months later she was curator at the Vitra Design Museum in Germany. More

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D-Crit Faculty More

Alice Twemlow, writer and chair and program co-founder, writer Teaches: “Conference Workshop,” “Thesis,” and “Applied Thesis” @DCrit

Steven Heller, program co-founder, chair of SVA MFA Design Teaches: “Researching Design” @thedailyheller

Kurt Andersen, author, critic, and host of WNYC’s “Studio 360” Teaches: “Radio and Podcast Workshop” @KBAndersen

Paola Antonelli, senior curator of Architecture & Design and director of R&D at Museum of Modern Art Teaches: “Exhibition and Collection Curation” @curiousoctopus

Akiko Busch, author of books on design, culture, and nature Teaches: “Reading Design”

Andrea Codrington Lippke, design and culture critic Teaches: “Thesis Consultation”

Russell Flinchum, archivist at Century Association Archives Foundation Teaches: “Design History”

Adam Harrison Levy, writer, documentary filmmaker and producer Teaches: “Art of the Interview” and “Video Essays”

Karrie Jacobs, author and contributing editor to Metropolis Teaches: “Urban Curation” karriejacobs.com

Alexandra Lange, architecture critic and Design Observer blogger Teaches: “Architecture and Urban Design Criticism” @LangeAlexandra

Leital Molad, senior producer of WNYC’s “Studio 360” Teaches: “Radio and Podcast Workshop” @studio360show

Murray Moss, founder, Moss Bureau and Moss Gallery. Teaches: “Critical Thinking”

Ginger Nolan, researcher and writer, The Architect’s Newspaper, African Arts Journal. Teaches: “Cultural Theory”

Daniella Ohad Smith, design historian Teaches: “Collecting Design” daniellaohad.com

Phil Patton, car critic at The New York Times Teaches: “Typologies” @pattonp

Robin Pogrebin, culture reporter at The New York Times Teaches: “Reporting Tools Workshop” @rpogrebin

Elizabeth Spiers, former editor-in-chief at New York Observer, founding editor of Gawker Teaches: “The Online Media Workshop” @espiers

Karen Stein, writer, architectural consultant and former editorial director at Phaidon Press Teaches: “The Design Book”

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About SVA MFA Design Criticism

School of Visual Arts
MFA in Design Criticism

The SVA MFA in Design Criticism is devoted to the study of design, architecture, and urban infrastructure. The innovative two-year graduate program trains students to interrogate and evaluate design and its social and environmental implications, and to experiment with ways to engage design criticism’s publics.

Working alongside New York’s best-respected editors, authors, critics, curators, and historians, D-Crit students learn how to build an argument, develop a critical stance, and hone a writerly voice. Instructed by such faculty members as MoMA’s senior curator of Design and Architecture Paola Antonelli, urban design critic Karrie Jacobs, and online media maven Elizabeth Spiers, students communicate their unique perspectives through a range of media, including radio podcasts, exhibitions, video essays, events, syllabi, online media, and books.

The SVA MFA Design Criticism program seeks to cultivate design criticism as a discipline and contribute to design discourse with new writing and thinking that challenges and inspires. Applicants come to the program with experience in design, architecture, journalism, and from academic backgrounds in art history, English literature, philosophy, and critical studies; alumni of the program go on to work as editors, writers, curators, researchers, bloggers, managers, entrepreneurs, and educators.

Admission to the program is by online application and the submission of one essay written specifically for the application, up to 2,000 words of writing samples, and three letters of recommendation. If you have any questions about your application please contact us. We are happy to arrange for prospective students to tour the department or meet with the department chair, and to attend a class or a Tuesday evening lecture.

School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York City is an established leader and innovator in the education of artists. From its inception in 1947, the faculty has been comprised of professionals working in the arts and art-related fields. SVA provides an environment that nurtures creativity, inventiveness and experimentation, enabling students to develop a strong sense of identity and a clear direction of purpose.

How to Apply

Effective Fall 2014, we adapted the two-year, 64-credit MFA into a one-year, 30-credit MA in Design Research, Writing & Criticism.

Please note that full instructions on applying, as well as details about the program and its curriculum, can be found at designresearch.sva.edu.

Apply