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SVA MA Design Research, Writing and Criticism

136 W 21 Street, Second Floor

New York, NY 10011

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"10. Believe in truth. To abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power, because there is no basis upon which to do so. If nothing is true, then all is spectacle. The biggest wallet pays for the most blinding lights."

― Timothy Snyder, On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

You’re invited to join us for the second edition of “A Critical Reader for Critical Times,” an event and ongoing anthology project that collects the texts our community has found particularly resonant, comforting, or empowering during these uncertain times around the globe. Selections might come from philosophy, literature, criticism, science fiction, or might be something you've written...it's wide open and doesn't have to be design-oriented. A sampling of selections to date include…


Simon Reynolds, Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-1984

Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address

Ali Mirsepassi on Iran, in Adventures in Modernism: Thinking with Marshall Berman

Joan Didion, “Self-respect: Its Source, Its Power”

William Shakespeare, The Book of Sir Thomas More, Act 2, Scene 4

Donald Barthelme, "The Newsroom"

Rebecca Solnit, Hope in the Dark

Brian Massumi, "The Political Ontology of Threat"

John Ruskin, "Of the Open Sky"


We'll hold a live reading of submissions 6:30-8:00pm on Tuesday, March 13. This event is intended to be casual and fun, with people dropping in as available. Refreshments will be served!

We’ll also share excerpts of selections via our website (each text will have a couple of sentences of intro from the contributor), with an eye to publishing a print edition in the future.

Sign up to participate in the Critical Reader project by emailing your proposed text/excerpt or a link to designresearch@sva.edu by Friday, March 2.

We’ll be contacting all interested contributors with more project details. We hope you’ll add your voice or join the audience for this event!


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SVA MA Design Research, Writing and Criticism

136 W 21 Street, Second Floor

New York, NY 10011

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