Design Writing and Research

Dates: June 1-11, 2021

Tuition: $1800

2 undergraduate studio credits 

As design’s social and environmental implications become more profound, it is more important than ever to write about design engagingly and intelligently.

The Design Research, Writing and Criticism Department at the School of Visual Arts is pleased to offer an online writing summer intensive aimed at those who would like to refine their skills as thinkers, researchers and storytellers. For practicing designers, this is a chance to examine the profession and its impact through writing and publishing. Clear thinking, deep research and engaging expression are vital skills in a contemporary designer’s tool kit. For creative professionals, this program offers methods and insights for understanding and writing compellingly about images, objects and spaces.

A range of writing genres and imaginative approaches will be introduced. Working individually and in small groups, participants will experiment with essential techniques such as interviewing, archive research, close observation, analysis and critique, and then to develop and finesse several projects. In addition to personal work, the team will collaboratively produce and distribute a publication.

Through a robust schedule of seminars, lectures and virtual field trips, the intensive offers students and working professionals a unique opportunity to study with a faculty composed of leading writers and editors, and engage in conversation with prominent designers, architects and urban planners.

The intensive offers students and working professionals a unique opportunity to study with a faculty composed of leading writers and editors. Lectures and field trips to New York sites and studios allow participants to directly interact with prominent designers, architects and urban planners.

By the end of the program, participants will have completed several pieces of writing, formulated ideas for stories, and garnered a robust set of tools and approaches for writing authoritatively and imaginatively about design.

Faculty and lecturers have included Neil Donnelly, Steven HellerKarrie Jacobs, Jennifer Kabat, Adam Harrison Levy, Robin Pogrebin, Craig Taylor, Alice Twemlow, Rob Walker and Mimi Zieger.  Guest speakers and interviewees have included Eddie Opara of Pentagram, Nathan Adkisson of Local Projects, David van der Leer of DVDL Design Decisions, Damon Rich of HECTOR Designs, curator Ellen Lupton, Interboro Partners, Quilian Riano, BIG Architects and Rockwell Group Lab, among others.

More information about this program available at

Prerequisite: Participants must have completed a four-year undergraduate degree.

Note: Samples of published or unpublished writing (such as essays, blog posts or articles) about design, architecture or related subjects are required for review and acceptance to this program. This intensive is fully online and offered through a combination of synchronous as well as asynchronous lectures, discussions and activities. Synchronous sessions will be announced and scheduled in consideration of different time zones.