Products of Design


Projects & News

The PoD blog shares student projects, department news, events and snapshots of student life from the MFA Products of Design program at SVA in New York City.

Design For MoMA: Totem Bathroom Set by May Sun

Design For MoMA: Totem Bathroom Set by May Sun

Inspired by a combination of modern and retro styles, the Totem Bathroom Set is finally a set of cleaning tools beautiful enough for you to be proud to have out. Plunger, brush, and soap dish. 

Summer Thesis Check-In: Dirt, Dirtiness, Phobias, and Rewilding

Summer Thesis Check-In: Dirt, Dirtiness, Phobias, and Rewilding

Every summer, we ask the students moving into their second year to send a couple short email check-ins to tell us about their thesis research, what they're reading, and what they're thinking. Here below (with permission) is Jenna Witzleben's latest note:

Hi Everyone!

I can’t believe summer is almost over already – it went by so quickly! I’m very excited to see you all again.

For my thesis, I’ve been continuing to broadly explore topics around protection and barriers from nature, dirt and dirtiness, phobias, and rewilding. I’ve also had some great experiences since the last check-in including a soil health workshop at the Lowline lab (with Karen!) and an urban foraging class with Wild Man Steve.

There’s a lot of interesting routes of exploration here including all the ways we protect/barrier ourselves (umbrellas to architecture to antibacterial soap), all of the things we barrier ourselves from (the elements, animals, allergens, etc.), and all of the existing barriers (social, financial, psychological). THEN there’s also interesting subject matter in DIY activism and transforming our existing world and selves, as well as design for a future wilder world (and a wilder human being).

My favorite book so far has been “The Once and Future World” by JB MacKinnon. He pushed the boundaries on my thinking as to how close to nature we should /could be. This book, as well as my foraging class, made me fearful of my own thesis – there is danger in the reintroduction of megafauna (as part of rewilding) and the potential to eat a toxic plant (while foraging). But then I hear Allan saying in the back of my head “good – danger and getting to an uncomfortable place means you should keep going!”

I’m looking forward to exploring futuring and world creation in these next couple weeks as a tool for visualizing opportunities and sharpening my focus.

For full descriptions and reflections of what I’ve been exploring / reading, please check out my blog: http://jennawitzleben.com/masters-thesis-blog/.

Happy Weekend!

Best,
Jenna

Design For MoMA: DeStijl Nesting Boxes by Judy Chi

Design For MoMA: DeStijl Nesting Boxes by Judy Chi

Judy Chi's delightful series of nesting boxes features iconic colors and materials from mid-century art and design. The lid is constructed of birch veneer with steam-pressed dot pattern.

DO IT NOW: Using Design to Overcome Procrastination

DO IT NOW: Using Design to Overcome Procrastination

Wan Jung Hung’s master’s thesis, Do It Now: Overcoming Procrastination, focuses on the moments when people notice they are procrastinating. Her design interventions aim to change the direction of decision-making—from putting off tasks, to reframing those tasks, to taking care of them immediately. 

ANIMATE: Bringing Charm and Magic to Everyday Life

ANIMATE: Bringing Charm and Magic to Everyday Life

Products of Design MFA graduate Ziyun Qi’s thesis, Animate: Bringing Charm and Magic to everyday life, aims to help people see the exciting in the mundane, and to re-vitalize, re-energize, and above all, re-animate the objects around us that previously gave us life, hope, and spirit. Qi argues that modern life has conditioned people to crave novelty. “We are addicted to anything that is new, and discontented with what we already have,” Qi adds. “Everything that lacks superlative status and isn’t the newest, the most expensive, or the most popular, lacks both appeal and specialness.” She began the thesis with an exploration of how stories influence us and shape our behavior.

ATTO: An Exploration Between Movement and Design

ATTO: An Exploration Between Movement and Design

“We live in a universe that is in constant motion. Whether we are running, driving, working, playing or even sleeping, our every action designs the world we live in from microscopic to inter-planetary.” So begins Chelsea Stewart’s master’s thesis, Atto: An Exploration Between Design and Movement, which investigates opportunities for movement to shape design, and for design to shape movement. From simple actions to complex systems, Atto aims to find a design narrative between people, objects, and the information moving around us.

Register for the 2016 Open House: Friday, November 11

Register for the 2016 Open House: Friday, November 11

Join us at this year's Open House and Information Session, taking place on Friday, November 11, 2015—from 2-5pm. Attendees will be able to meet faculty, alumni, and current students, see projects, learn about the program, tour the studio, classroom spaces, and Visible Futures Lab, and ask questions about life at Products of Design. Delicious refreshments will be shared throughout the session. Hope to see you there! To attend, please RSVP here. And whet your appetite, take a peek at the video below, created by faculty member Michael Chung, and some snapshots of previous Open House events.

IN FLUX: Identities Under the Influence

IN FLUX: Identities Under the Influence

In Flux, the master’s thesis of Isioma Iyamah, is about how we communicate our identities, both verbally and non-verbally. It’s about the myriad ways we create and conceptualize our spaces, using language and behavior to structure, categorize and tell our stories. And it explores the patterns of behavior that frame our social identities. 

AT THE READY: Preparation for Just About Anything

AT THE READY: Preparation for Just About Anything

Jon Lung's master's thesis, At the Ready, is an inquiry into "preparedness" in all its forms—from the fancifully speculative, to the soberly real. It traverses the many boundaries of design in order to understand how to better fortify oneself for the ever-changing challenges that life throws our way. His thesis journey started at the individual scale—focusing on how he could better prepare himself personally. As the project continued, he looked at how he could use his skills and abilities to help those he cared about. And toward the end of his thesis journey, he concentrated less on the objects of preparedness, and more on the requisite skills.