The Annual 2012

School of Visual Arts

Catalysts for Innovation

New York’s Design and Architecture Schools

SVA’s reputation for bankable innovation was underscored by Designing New York’s Future, a March 2012 report from the Center for an Urban Future, a Manhattan-based think tank committed to exploring local economic development. SVA graduates have, says the report, “produced dozens of start-up companies that set up locally—something that has eluded most of the city’s scientific research institutions. They also provide the talent pipeline for New York City’s creative industries.” SVA President David Rhodes and MFA Products of Design Department Chair Allan Chochinov are among the educators cited in the report whose influence spills over into business. Among the entrepreneurs featured in the report are SVA alumni Nico Puertollano (BFA 2002 Computer Art), who started his own print and motion graphics studio after graduation, and designer Deborah Adler (MFA 2002 Design), whose innovative system for prescription packaging for Target began as her thesis project.

Writing in Crain’s New York Business, reporter Miriam Kreinin Souccar filled in some background:

With 4,278 design and architecture graduates in 2010, New York schools are the leaders nationwide. Los Angeles, No. 2, graduated only 1,377 that year. And the numbers are outpacing other fields of study. Between 2005 and 2010, the number of architecture and design degree recipients increased by more than 40% citywide, while the total number in all majors rose by just 20%, the study found. The number of finance graduates—long seen as fueling the city’s economic engine—grew only 10% during that period.

Furthermore, a large number of design-school students aren’t from New York, yet most stay to start their careers. ‘More than half of our student body is from other states, and 30% of the students in our graduate program are from other countries,’ said David Rhodes, president of the School of Visual Arts. ‘It’s a significant boon to the economy of New York.’

Designing New York’s Future