Nuvu Student Projects


Will Brown and Aveen Nagpal
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Projection Description:

Mirrors, a piece of art to reflect just how many refugees you don't see.

Millions of Syrian refugees are scattered all across the globe. While the United States has admitted just over 10,000 of them, Germany has taken in over 400,000 thousand, and over 4.8 million refugees have fled to countries including Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan. The recent ban on Syrian refugees to the US has only made the sitaution worse. American leaders must understand that even though the US has taken in refugees in, they really have not done enough. There is too much needless suffering, and people must immerse themselves in this topic to truly understand what needs to to be done. 

Our project is an installation that will raise awareness about how many refugees the US has taken in, compared to how many that still need somewhere to go. Our project is built to be mostly submerged underground. We hope to place it in a public area, like a tree box, or flower pot. The top of our project just surfaces, and inside you can see a few refugees. This is there to represent how many refugees we have in the US. It will intrigue viewers to take a look closer. After all, why would there be something like this in a tree box? Once they take a step closer, and look into the installation, they will see an infinite amount of refugee figures. This will strike the viewer to think about just how the US is not doing nearly what they could do. We are able to get there to be an infinite amount of refugees below the surface by using a mirror system. The mirrors reflect the image of the refugee an infinite amount of times so it can really shake the viewer. We originally based this off of the idea of an iceberg. Although they already look huge above the water, that's only about 10% of what it really is. The other 90% lies below the water. We hope that this installation can affect the viewer to really take time to think about the refugee situation in America. There is so much more that can be done, and we hope that this mindset can find it's way into everyone!

- Will

Anonymous interaction partition

Jayden Lee and Helen Kahn


Uliana Dukach

A fantasy shield that expands to protect people from harm, whether real or imaginary. Designed for Sandra, This shows her gift to help and protect people.

 Delta is a fantasy shield that expands to protect people.The shield was designed as a superhero prop for Sandra, a woman who runs a soup kitchen to care for and protect people. Sandra runs a soup kitchen in East Boston. She does this to care for and protect people who have been abandoned or who are homeless. Inspired by a scissor lift, the shield can hang compactly on a hook attached to a belt, and expands when the user pulls on it. It does this by having pivot points to move freely. Sandra said about how she gets stronger over time and took that idea to make a shape out of triangles that form a shield. 

the crown of truth

Talia Fellman-Blau and Shiylin Williams


Ethan Donaldson and Melina Bertsekas
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Melina Bertsekas:
An interactive, colorful display of flowers that allows the passerby to envision and create their own unique bouquets. A table with a bouquet arrangement able to be altered by the passerby through moving pull tabs holding vases.

As gentrification has slowly made it's way through Central Square, one flower shop has stayed resilient. For 89 years, Central Square Florist has been a respected family-run business that has an incredible catalogue of flowers and services, that today simply needs publicity that catches the attention of the newest generations. Build-A-Bouquet does exactly this! With this beautiful stand, passerby is able to select the flowers they desire most and design their own personal, unique bouquet! How, one might ask? Build-A-Bouquet is a three-story table that displays vibrant and colorful flora, and the top ring showcases movable arrows to the center containing different flowers. The customer simply pushes in the tabs of the flowers they love, and the flowers move to the center! Build-A-Bouquet draws in a more excitable audience to a well-loved Central Square cultural landmark, helping a long-running community business continue to flourish through the hardships of gentrification. Build-A-Bouquet and watch Central Square blossom! :)

Ethan Donaldson:

An interactive, colorful display of flowers that allows the passerby to envision and create their own unique bouquets. A table with a bouquet arrangement able to be altered by the passerby through moving pull tabs holding vases.

A simple pull-tab device that allows people to experiment with different flower orientations and arrangements. A flower display table designed to allow passersby to experiment with different bouquet arrangements by pushing and pulling tabs. The short round table is supported by wooden dowels, which holds up a pull-tab board holding small vases. The table has a tube encircled around the legs to give more balanced support. Below the pull-tab board is a small support-tray for vases (filled with flowers) to slide over. The bouquet display exists because it is a way to attract people to a small business in an era of gentrification, rather than going to a main-stream flower provider, possibly the Whole Foods down the street, or an online flower provider. The project engages the loss of small businesses, and wants to stop gentrification that will cause such. The project helps not only the store owner and employees of the shop, but it also helps the residents of Central by helping it keep its feel of a traditional city neighborhood run by the people that live there, instead of out-of-town owners. The project changes the way people display their products, as well as the way people interact with them. The unique style could inspire another user-friendly interactive Ad. One question that arose was "Is there anything that exists like this already/what is it doing for the atmosphere" The flower shop will be the main consumer of the product, but theoretically anybody, displaying small objects, could use this for advertisement. The mechanism is all in pushing and pulling out tabs filled through the tube-slot, with the item on display. The device is set up for the best user experience because it forces the user to (literally) see the product in different light. The atmospheric perspective you get from it is unique in a user-experience lens. With flowers on display, the bouquet display forces the user to consider different formations and think about the most appealing arrangement. Smell, color, texture, and size can all be factors in making the most optimal bouquet, but also the angle its looked at can be important too, hence the need for it to be walked around and viewed in the round.

The Brief

Madeline Tallarico and Annabelle Fulton

Annabelle - 

Donation is a wonderful thing. A perfect world, every cent of the dollar and you donate will go straight to the cause you help to support but, in the real world up to 54% of the dollar is taken to go to the corporation to support funding. They can also go to  advertisements and funding of the employees so they can do the best work possible. When I heard this information, I was shocked the fact that 50% of my dollar and all of that I chose to Donate wasn't necessarily going to go to the people I want to help with was hard to hear. But, don't let that discourage you from donating.  The point of a project to help educate others do their research before making their donations. There are many many small corporations or organizations that have less of an overhead such as 9% or even less. These are the organizations that as the people we should support. I understand that the UNHCR is more accessible, but I want to educate people to look harder. 


Our goal of this project was to create a visual representation that is interactive prove a point. The point is when you donate please research the foundations and organizations that you are donating two, have some of them are less helpful than others. Madeline and I  created A game type piece of art. There are two rectangles one of which represents the bigger organization. The rectangle is bigger but has bigger traps in it so when you put your money in the top and the sides down between the different pegs, your money may get stuck and be gone forever. The money that reaches the bottom box goes to donation of the money get stuff will go to the corporation. On the other side there is a smaller box yes this box maybe smaller but there is only one trap that the coin have to avoid the trap taking about 9% to coins. The smaller box is a more reliable route. Please designs will be installed onto the streets of Cambridge for others to use educate themselves. Again, we want to make it clear that we are not discouraging those to donate yet we are encouraging those to do their research before they do.


Madeline - 


Donating it a great and important thing. You get to help people in need around the world. But do you know where your money is actually going? In the studio, Transferring Narratives, we Skyped with many different people who are experiencing the refugee crisis first hand. We talked with people who ran refugee camps, helped refugees seek asylum, and refugees themselves. My partner Annabelle and I wanted to focus on the aspect of donating blindly. After doing some research and talking with the head of a foundation, we learned that there is a lot of waste when it comes to donations. Big corporations like the UNHCR wastes a lot of money when it comes to their volunteers and overhead costs. There are many little organizations that do the same great work as big corporations like the UNHCR but you are guaranteed that most of your money is going to the refugees, not into wasteful things or worse, some ones pocket. We learned that 54% of the money that you donate to big corporations goes to overhead costs and wasteful spending, whereas only 9% of the money you donate to smaller organizations goes to overhead costs. To visually represent this research, Annabelle and I created two rectangle shaped peg boards made out of acrylic and wood. The two rectangles are different sizes; the small representing little organizations and the big representing big foundations. The only thing connecting these two boxes is a large bin at the bottom which will represent the money going to charity. In the bigger rectangle, we put boxes and other obstacles to make it that only half of your money makes it into the charity bin. In the smaller rectangle there is only one obstacle stopping the money from getting into the bin. This shows that you never really know where you money is going to the corporation or to aid. Annabelle and I are not trying to discourage people from donating, we want people to do research and really know where their money goes when they donate. 


Zack Taylor and Dylan Curran


  • We decided to make an interactive game because we want people to engage in the thought process and not just put money in.
  • By putting the board game on the map, we abstracted our project because it shows how there are many more twists and turns along the journey, not just crossing borders from google maps.


Maddie Block and Abi Tenenbaum

Our hack is one that goes on top of a cigarette dispenser that without a top. We decided to make this since we noticed many people were smoking, and throwing their cigarettes on the sidewalk rather than disposing them. The goal was to do something benifiting both the enviroment and the smokers health. The top represents the face a of a monster with a speaker for an eye, and an open slot for the mouth. When someone is outside smoking and wants to dispose of their cigarrette, they can drop it in the monster's mouth. Inside the monster, there is a laser pointer that shines onto a mirror and onto a light sensor. Once the cigarette falls it brakes the beam, resulting in the monster making a coughing noise. The decision to have the monster cough was made so that we could portray the message that smoking is unhealthy. 


Nicholas Martin and Samuel Zintl
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This projects purpose was to make waiting for public transportation more interesting and engaging while also bringing people together. We sought have people be stimulated and engaged not only by the game itself but also by each other. The project aided the major problem of weariness and boredom in a specific situation while bringing strangers together, who otherwise would never have known each other. The overall problem we attempted to solve was the lack of interest and engagement while waiting for anything, but especially public transport. We tried to solve that problem with a game that anyone could play that retained a balance of stimulation and effortless action. We did not want the public tired after playing our game yet we wanted them to be involved and interested to the perfect point. This project is important because it is the solution to a very common problem that is ignored. It solves a problem while creating social interactions and has no drawbacks or flaws to cause conflict.

Butterfly woman

Meggee Joseph and Alec Perez-Albuerne

The Butterfly Woman project is a wearable set of wings for Lydia Villa-Komaroff, a molecular biologist that works with under-represented groups of people supporting their efforts in the STEM fields. The wings are designed to incorporate her dedication to eradicating bias and stereotyping with her interest in Geiger Counters and butterflies. The wings serve as a detector of Implicit Bias and Stereotyping and flutter when this type of negativity is detected.

When the wings flutter they alert both the wearer and the exhibitor of the bias to of the situation and what specific type of stereotyping is occurring. Lydia often wishes that she was able to seek out any and all stereotyping and bias around her, even in the most subtle situation. This project allows Lydia to go about her business without diverting energy towards seeking out bias. It will alert her to any nearby bias so she can act immediately helping others grow and protect themselves from stereotyping and its harmful effects. The wings, two and a half feet tall, are mounted onto an exoskeleton that fits like a corset around the user's body. A user-activated motor attached to the back of the exoskeleton drives the fluttering motion of the wings. 

The goal of designing this real-world superhero prop is to bring awareness to the subtle expression of modern-day racism through implicit bias. For example, when the most challenging jobs are given to male workers when the female workers are more qualified but are excluded due to their sex. On a daily basis, the project succeeds just by bringing smiles and positivity into Lydia's life and the lives of those around her. The structure and lighting elements were designed to be fun and interesting to observe. The wings are specifically designed to represent Lydia's personality. The material the wings are made out of is thick, symbolizing Lydia's resilience in the face of adversity. Underneath the thick material, colorful lights represent her fun and playful personality once people get to know her.