A new wave of makers is emerging from SVA as MFA Products of Design prepares to graduate its inaugural class. At the MFA Products of Design Thesis Presentations at the SVA Theatre on Thursday, May 8 from 1:00 to 6:00pm, all 15 of the graduating students will unveil their enterprising plans for designing a better society and a better planet. Highlighting the event will be a keynote address by Douglas Rushkoff—social theorist, digital literacy champion, cyberpunk culture commentator and author of more than a dozen bestselling books including Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now. The event will be live streamed here.
The students come from as far away as New Zealand and as nearby as Brooklyn, and specialize in everything from architecture, software and economics, to education, ceramics and psychology. Having spent two years under the tutelage of distinguished faculty members including Paola Antonelli, Emilie Baltz and Ayse Bersel under the watchful eye of department co-founder and Chair Allen Chochinov, these visionaries are poised to channel their big ideas into tools for positive change.
Among the graduating class are Damon Ahola, who has an idea for harvesting ambient energy from one’s own movements, and Kathryn McElroy, who believes that digital technology can help one live a more analog life. Samantha Moore’s affinity for comics could bring relief and engagement to people in an urban environment, including subway riders on the C train. And Joseph Weissgold is spearheading a free “Teacher’s Lounge” where educators can collaborate with designers—and with each other—to exchange ideas and create dynamic lessons.