Faculty At Large

Program Chair

Program Co-Founder

Advisory Board

  • Janine Benyus
    Biomimicry Institute
  • Liz Danzico
    Chair, SVA MFA IxD
  • Dale Dougherty
    Make Magazine
  • Robert Fabricant
    frog design
  • Kevin McCullagh
    Plan UK
  • Nathan Shedroff
  • Cordy Swope
  • Lita Talarico
    SVA MFA Design
  • Tad Toulis



  • Deborah Adler
    Deborah Adler Design
  • Yves Behar
  • Janine Benyus
    Biomimicry Institute
  • Tim Brown
  • Valerie Casey
    The Designers Accord
  • Stephen Burks
    Readymade Projects
  • Brian Cohen
  • Matali Crasset
    Matali Crasset Production
  • Dale Doherty
    MAKE / Maker Faire
  • Anthony Dunne
    Dunne + Raby
  • Robert Fabricant
    frog design
  • Chuck Hoberman
    Transformable Design Studio
  • Ezio Manzini
    DESIS Lab
  • Aimee Mullins
    Athlete, Model, Advocate
  • Fiona Raby
    Dunne + Raby
  • Stefan Sagmeister
    Sagmeister Inc.
  • Cameron Tonkinwise
    Design Studies - Carnegie Mellon
  • Steve Portigal
    Portigal Consulting
  • Matthew Waldman
  • Scott Wilson
  • Tom Gerhardt
    Studio Neat
  • Jonas Damon
    frog design
  • Douglas Rushkoff
  • Ralph Caplan
  • Elizabeth Scharpf
    SHE: Sustainable Health Enterprises
  • Charles Adler
  • Tina Roth Eisenberg
    Swiss Miss
  • (more to come)

Studio Visits

  • American Museum of Natural History
  • Commonwealth
  • Etsy
  • Fab.com
  • Google Creative Labs
  • Greenpoint Studios
  • MakerBot
  • The New York Times
  • RedHook Design District
  • Rockwell Group
  • Uhuru
  • (more to come)


  • Mariana Amatullo
  • Manuel Toscano

News & Events

Our annual faculty potluck was once again hosted by the gracious Claire Hartten, who's Brooklyn outdoor space we filled with delicious home cooking and great cheer. Here are a few pics of ... READ

Faculty Potluck 2014 Snapshots


Douglas Rushkoff: F1RST Thesis Presentation Keynote
August 19, 2014

On May 8th, 2014, the inaugural thesis presentations from the first graduating class of the MFA Products of Design program took place at the SVA Theatre in Manhattan. The opening Keynote was delivered by Douglas Rushkoff, cultural and media ... READ

Masters Thesis: COEXIST: Mixing With Urban Wildlife, by Rona Binay
Masters Thesis: COEXIST: Mixing With Urban Wildlife, by Rona Binay
August 12, 2014

Turkish designer Rona Binay’s MFA Products of Design thesis entitled, ‘COEXIST, Mixing with Urban Wildlife’ studies the relationship between city and nature through the lens of urban wildlife. A seeming contradiction, Rona’s embrace of urban/natural was triggered when she discovered footage of a coyote playing with a bottle on a frozen pond in Central Park. (Another fascinating example of urban wildlife is the peregrine falcon, which nests on high-rise buildings and bridges within the city.) Rona acknowledges that cities not only serve as living landscapes for humans, but also provision as habitats for many different species.

Inspired by Natalie Jeremijenko’s argument that “This whole idea that we address environmental issues by not doing stuff just doesn’t work,” COEXIST aims to raise public awareness of biodiversity in urban areas and provide systematic solutions linking wildlife with urban through the application of design. 

Throughout the semester, Rona immersed herself in the literature and with subject matter experts, speaking with authors such as Hal Herzog (author of Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It’s So Hard to Think Straight About Animals) around ethics, scientists such as Jason Munshi-South on anticipated future urban wildlife, in addition to rooftop beekeepers, urban park rangers, urban wildlife enthusiasts and opponents, architects, landscape planners, designers, artists and speculative thinkers.


Masters Thesis: Whateverest: Exploring the Landscape of Apathy and Agency, by Charlotta Hellichius
Masters Thesis: Whateverest: Exploring the Landscape of Apathy and Agency, by Charlotta Hellichius
July 9, 2014

Charlotta Hellichius’ thesis, “Whateverest,” investigates the landscape of apathy and agency. She positioned it as an exploration into her own shortcomings, and an attempt to understand why she “can’t care about everything.” Charlotta set out to understand and explain why certain behaviors are integral, while others fail to become equally as important. Whateverest is about how to overcome the “whatevers” that we face in our everyday lives, and explores the landscape of apathy, harnessing personal agency, and designing for our cognitive limits of engagement.

Every day we face an avalanche of choices that we have to “deal with”—what to wear, what coffee to order, what to prioritize at work, what lunch to eat, what YouTube video to watch, what email to respond to right now, and which ones to save for later. This affliction is called “decision overload,” and all of these small decisions are taxing our capacity to focus.


Masters Thesis: Five+: An Exploration of Mindful Experience Through the Lens of Sense, by Cassandra Michel
Masters Thesis: Five+: An Exploration of Mindful Experience Through the Lens of Sense, by Cassandra Michel
July 4, 2014

Products of Design MFA student Cassandra Michel’s thesis titled “Five+: An Exploration of Mindful Experience Through the Lens of Sense,” started as a question of happiness and how happiness is achieved. She began by conducting research, discovering the philosophy of Mathieu Richard who proposes that happiness is a skill that is cultivated.

Cassandra also identified a 2010 Harvard research study conducted by Matthew Killingsworth and Daniel T. Gilbert which revealed that humans have a unique ability for mind-wandering. Mind-wandering is the ability to think about the past and the future, but can quickly lead to unhappiness. In the Buddha’s Brain, Neuropsychologist Dr. Rick Hanson contends “our vastly more developed brain is fertile ground for a harvest of suffering. Only we humans worry about the future, regret the past, and blame ourselves for the present. We get frustrated when we can’t have what we want, and disappointed when what we like ends. We suffer that we suffer.”



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