The Making of Fanciful Beasts in Barcelona

Miki Villanueva
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Students at Escola L'Horitzó in Barcelona recently completed their first NuVu studio experience, an animal-inspired version of Cyborg Enhancements.  The studio was led by their teacher, Miki Villanueva, with support from our NuVuX Fellow, Max Vanatta.  In their final presentations, we saw ideas such as gloves that allow you to "Dig Like a Mole" and a "Field of View Amplifier" helmet.  This program is part of our NuVuX Program Offerings where the NuVu Team works with schools and teachers around the world to deliver custom studio-based experiences on-the-ground at collaborating schools.

Boston Fashion Week

Juliette Noone

This year we had a studio that partnered with Boston Fashion Week. We presented innovative wearables at the Science and Technology Edition of Boston Fashion Week taking place at Cambridge Science Festival. The students designed and revitalized past designs to walk the runway. 

Future of a Good Day was designed by Aveen N. It is a colorful tunic that recalls ’60s geometry with a mid-80s palate.

Exploding Shoulder was designed by Jacob C. and Ethan D. and reimagined by Trevor M. and Noelle A. A colorful frenzy inspired by Felipe Otiz’ Mural in Central Square.

Gateway to Spring was designed by Roisin M., Madelin N., and Natalie H. and reimagined by Lalita B. It is a cluster of lit-up petals.

Utopian Archetype was designed by Ethan D. and reinterpreted by Aveen N. This Breezy kimono-inspired garment is made of a woven polyblend painted like the color of a late summer sky.

Cocoon was designed by Kate R. and revitalized by Kody W. and Finn M. It is a collection of mirrored acrylic triangles. 

New Staff Introductions

Juliette Noone

NuVu Cambridge Staff

Paula Garza Gonzalez (Architecture and Design Coach) is a new coach in Cambridge who will be added to NuVu as an Architecture and Design Coach. She holds a BS in Architecture and is currently working on her graduate degree at Harvard’s School of education and will be part-time throughout the fall while she finishes her graduate degree. 

Sammy Sass (Director of Student Support) is a new member of our student support team in Cambridge. She is our Director of Student Support. Sammy is a licensed mental health therapist, with a specialization in working with young people. She will be available to all students throughout the year.

Juliette Noone (Communications and Events Manager) is our new Communications & Events Manager in Cambridge. Juliette is a UMass Amherst alumni with a degree in Psychology and English. Before arriving in Boston, she lived in Philadelphia working as an immigration paralegal. She will be the primary contact for any questions that may arise from families.

Corey Predella (NuVu Intern) is a new Intern in Cambridge. Corey recently graduated high school at Beaver Country Day School and is now pursuing a gap year. Corey is a certified biomedical researcher through the Boston Medical Center who recently finished a research position coding for a doctor. He intends to pursue a degree in theoretical math during college. He will be helping out in studios with coding and CAD, and will be running a few seminars throughout the year.

NuVuX Staff

Chris Essex (Design Fellow) is our new NuVuX Fellow working at New Beginnings High School in Fort Meade, Florida. He holds a BA in Media and Information and has spent the last 5 years running a Makerspace in the Chicagoland area. Chris is passionate about creating and supporting learning environments where students can be their most creative selves and is looking forward to continuing that work at New Beginnings High School.

Lauren Mikaela Glenn (Design Fellow) will be our Fellow at The Wheeler School in Providence, Rhode Island. She recently graduated from the Masters of Industrial Design program at the Rhode Island School of Design and holds a BSE in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. In her personal practice, she works primarily in wood and glass and loves to collaborate in and across the arts and sciences.

NuVuX Innovation Camp for Educators (NICE)

Juliette Noone

This summer, NuVu was thrilled to host educators from our NuVuX Partner School network at the Cambridge school for our annual Innovation Camp event. It has been three years since we welcomed our community of educators back into the NuVu school, and the space was abuzz with creative energy for the two-day event. This exceptional group of leaders and educators are pushing the boundaries of what's possible in the education space, and NICE Camp provides an interactive, fun, and inspirational opportunity to reinvest in design innovation for partners and connect with our community of exceptional educators from across the globe.

Participants interact with Fellows, Program Designers, and Curriculum Specialists to learn about the NuVu approach directly from our team. Through an immersive experience, educators participate in a design studio and understand the students’ experience firsthand.  Micro workshops dive more deeply into components of the studio pedagogy and provide a forum to discuss successful studio design and some of the challenges that are faced when implementing innovative design programs.

The mini-studio this year was Pop-Up Participatory Devices, where participants collaboratively designed temporary installations that invite community participation. They explored and examined Central Square and potential locations within the urban fabric that could host their installations. Precedents that socially and culturally engage people walking down city streets opened their minds to the possibilities of their own designs, and they tested proof-of-concept prototypes to see how the community would respond to their ideas. 

Projects that delighted us included ideas like using the colored glass at the bus stops to play with shadows and light while you wait for your ride; a message board that encourages community members to engage with each other about their feelings and thoughts within the community; play structures added to the space for both adults and children to get to interact in an outdoor space physically. Participants loved getting a feel for the studio process and had even wished for more time in the future. We also wanted more time with them, and look forward to hosting more events for educators this year. 

Summer 2022

Juliette Noone

We just wrapped up Summer 2022 and had three successful sessions full of creativity, innovation, and collaboration. Our team of NuVu experts from our ever-expanding network worked closely with the 100+ students to lead and guide them through a successful summer. Students were tasked with the complete design process which involved designing sci-fi vehicles for uncharted terrains, creating gadgets that detect toxins in the environment, programming and building robots for deep sea exploration, and building augmented reality worlds. We had great results and teamwork all throughout each session.

School Curriculum 2022-2023

Juliette Noone

Running Boston Marathon for Karam

Molly Powers

Join us in supporting our very own Amro Arida (NuVu Art Director) as he runs the Boston Marathon this upcoming April 18. Amro is running to raise funds for our NuVuX partner, Karam Foundation. Karam Foundation is a non-profit organization that works across Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan to aid refugee families displaced by the Syrian Civil War.

Karam Foundation is committed to guiding 10,000 Syrian refugees on a path to leadership by 2028 by creating safe spaces to connect and learn, and by developing a support ecosystem where refugees and their families can thrive. Amro has set a generous goal of raising $10,000 for Karam House, the foundation’s youth center that partners with NuVu to bring an Innovative Education program to young refugees. Karam House provides students the tools, skills, and resources needed to change the future. If you feel inclined to support this cause, please donate here.

Good luck, Amro, we’ll see you on the course!

NuVu Spotlight Kunal Botla

Molly Powers

Introducing NuVu student, Kunal B.! Kunal joined NuVu in Fall 2021, and is now a junior. In his current studio, Kunal is working with his team to create a stimulating, high-intensity, musical experience that revolutionizes the sound of conventional instruments like the piano, guitar, and the drum. They are experimenting by altering commonly used mechanisms, as well as processing and mixing their sounds with post-production tools.

Q: When do you plan to graduate from NuVu, any thoughts on plans?

A: I am definitely looking to attend a four-year college. I still need to choose a field of study, but right now I am very interested in tech and political science, and the intersection between the two.

Q: What was your first impression of NuVu?

A: Very different, very dynamic. Both in the day-to-day experience as well on a larger scale. At first, it was the flexibility and novelty that drew me to NuVu, I was very intrigued and excited. I had a little bit of previous experience with makerspaces through my old school, but I was really excited and interested in diving into something like that full time.

Q: What is your biggest achievement to date at NuVu? It can be anything! 

A: My last Open Innovation project Connecting Homes , explored many different media, and I felt like I really  developed new skills in urban planning and architecture. I explored regional development, and did high level analysis for regional design.I really enjoyed spending time looking at different areas that could be more urbanized, and how I could reconnect them to transit lines, making them more accessible to people. This felt like an impactful attempt at addressing the housing crisis, where I also gained a lot of new skills, and I felt very proud of this.

Q: What are your most favorite tools, or materials available to you at NuVu?

A: The laser cutter…..duh! I know it is kind of everyone’s favorite tool, but it really is so multipurpose, and it’s way larger than most laser cutters I'm used to. What’s best about it is that you can really cut almost anything with it, so there is so much room for quick 2D and 3D prototyping. It’s the best tool you can use to quickly make a small scale representation of a big idea, and using it is pretty easy to pick up!

Q: What do you like to do with your time when you are not at school?

A: I participate in a lot of project based stuff outside of school. Currently I am running a highschool hackathon through an organization called MAHacks, so I spend a lot of my time after studio planning and coordinating that event. I got involved through hack-club, an online community of high school coding clubs and makers around the world. In addition, I like to create apps, and am working on building a tool for high schoolers to manage finances, and organize community. Also, I spend a lot of time and money on photography.

Project Feature: Boston Buoy

Molly Powers

NuVu students are constantly applying their creative intuition to potential solutions for pressing global issues. Students Lalita B. and Ben J. used the final session of the winter term, Open Innovation, to create an idea that they hope draws much needed attention to a real, future problem they will likely be faced with.

Boston Buoys are interactive and educational installation art pieces. They are designed to teach passersby about rising sea levels in Boston, and how the coastline will be severely impacted. The news often presents stories about climate change and the disasters it causes, but these students felt it lacks a personal impact, and allows the viewer to disconnect, feeling like their particular communities and homes won't be affected. 

Check out the full details of their amazing final project here!

A NuVu Art Sculpture at Danehy Park

Molly Powers

In Fall 2019, NuVu students began designing Pipedreams, an art-play sculpture that celebrates the industrial legacy of Danehy Park in Cambridge, MA. After two years, and three studios of planning and designing work, the installation is finally complete! We’re extremely grateful to Ethan Lacy, Ammar Ahmed, Formateria, and Weston & Sampson for their support during this project. The Cambridge Arts Council will be hosting a formal opening in November, please stay tuned for more details!