Sam and Cuddles

Mariam Arida and Lainey Kerr
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 Sam & Cuddles was inspired by and made in honor of Yusuf Arida, a young 8-year-old boy with autism who is very dear to the author.  A lot  of the scenarios in this book were based of Yusuf’s own experiences and input; tying shoes, being nervous from loud sounds, and getting called out for his quirks. The book's aim is not only to give Yusef the motivation to be and do what he wants, but also to motivate other kids with autism . In addition, the hope is to show others that those with autism are as smart and capable of great things as anyone else. 

Growing Up

Cameron Ventura and Teju Kim
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Growing Up:  A children’s book written and crafted with the purpose of inspiring young children, specifically ages 4-6, to start eating more healthily.  

In the U.S. today, more than one third of adults and almost 20% of children suffer from obesity, a condition that often leads to serious health effects and lifestyle limitations. Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the U.S., accounting for about 23% of all U.S. deaths. Through Growing Up, a book written with 4- to 6-year-olds in mind, young children can be inspired to take on a healthy diet and start asking their parents questions about what they eat. 

Growing Up is the story of a young boy named Jimmy who wants to grow so he can play basketball with his older sister. Jimmy promptly eats junk food and feels bad when he goes to bed, but the next day he tries some healthier foods, and starts to grow. By the end of the book Jimmy feels great and is  playing basketball. Through this story kids would be able to see how healthful eating correlates to two things young children are motivated to do: growing and being able to play with the "big kids." The other important pieces of this project are the illustrations and the interactive aspect. The illustrations in this book vary from page to page. For example, on a page where Jimmy is making good decisions about his diet, there is a colorful, bright, vibrant approach, but on a page where he is eating unhealthy foods the color scheme is darker. Lastly, the book comes with a toy plate, tray, and removable vegetables for children to play with. 

Final Post - Requirements for the Post

Andrew Todd Marcus
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The Final Post:

This post showcases your final design through two parts:

  1. An Abstract that shows the final project a concise series of images and diagrams. Its purpose is to allow a viewer or visitor to understand the project in its entirety in a few brief minutes. It is mainly concerned with the What of your project but must contain an overview of the Why and your entire narrative arc. This part of your post will be used in your 2-3 minute NuVu community presentation and will likely be the portion reporters, colleges, and family will see first. 
  2. The Process which tells the comprehensive story of how your idea was born, developed, and manifested. The arc of the story should encompass the, How of your project in a compelling narrative. It showcases your design process including your brainstorming, each of your iterations, and your final prototype. It allows the viewer to delve deeply into your process. This post will be used in your review presentation at the end of the session. 

The title of this post must be The name of your project. 


The Final post has 15-20 slides. Every slide MUST have a title. Captions are a good idea as well.

I this section you are showing the main concept and design of the project. The abstract is an overview meant to excite the viewer. You should not plan to describe the entire project in this section.

1. TITLE WITH TAGLINE (1 Slide): This slides shows a crisp, clear final image and the title of your project. with a pithy blurb describing the project. The image, name, and tagline should draw a viewer in. 


  • The Fruit - A line following, light tracking robot
  • Segmented Vehicle - A vehicle that conforms to the landscape
  • Cacoon - Wearable sculpture exploring the concept of transformation and death

2. CONTEXT IMAGE: (1 slide) This is a single image that shows a clear precedent or evocative image. This image helps set up the why in a compelling way, sets the stage for your narrative, and will help frame the entire presentation. The caption of this slide (set with the Edit Captions button when editing your post) should be the text of the Thesis Statement/Problem & Solution. You will read these while presenting this slide. No Text on the slide.

3. THESIS STATEMENT / PROBLEM & SOLUTION SLIDE (1 Slide) : This is a TEXT ONLY slide for visitors to your portfolio. In consultation with your coach you will either create a Thesis Statement or state the Problem/Solution. You will skip past this slide in the presentation as you will have read the content in the Context Image.

Problem/Solution: This works best for a project with a clear problem that leads to a describable physical solution.

This slide answers the questions:

  • What is the problem I am trying to Solve? This is likely different for each project in a studio. Be clear and use the problem to set up the narrative for your presentation.
    • Example: The Problem: Design a vehicle for a mountainous world with difficult terrain to traverse.
  • How did I solve it?. This is your 1 sentence project description with an optional additional 1-2 sentences. 
    • Example: The Solution: A segmented vehicle with a universal joint system that handles mountainous terrain by conforming to the landscape.

Thesis: Thesis statements are appropriate for a conceptual project with a nuanced or complex generative narrative. Your thesis states the Why and How clearly and succinctly in 1-3 sentences.

  • Examples:
    • The Cocoon:  A wearable sculpture that explores the concept of transformations and death. The Cocoon explores the spiritual journey beyond the human experience; what it means to be human, how wonder effects us, and the concept of what happens after death.
    • Body Accordion: A musical prosthetic that translates the wearer’s body movements into a dynamic multimedia performance. The Body Accordion converts flex sensor input to sound through Arduino, MaxMSP, and Ableton Live. 
    • Seed to Soup Animation: A whimsical animation about the slow food movement. Seed to Soup showcases a holistic method of cooking. From garden, to kitchen, to dinner table.
    • Antlers: A wearable sculpture inspired by antlers found in the deer and antelope family. "Antlers" explores the comparison between armor and attraction. 

4. FUNCTIONAL DIAGRAM: A diagram showing some aspect of the functionality. These can include:

  • How one uses or interacts with the project
  • The overall behavior of the project over time
  • For a complex interactive project, this can be a clear diagram of the software behavior\

5. FINAL IMAGE: (3 slides) The last slides should have an image of the final project. These images should be taken in the photo booth, cropped, and adjusted for contrast, brightness, etc. You can also use an image In-Use. Consider using a GIF to show how the project works. You will NOT describe the whole project here, simply show the completed project before going onto the Process. 


6. PRECEDENT SLIDES (2 slides minimum, 3 slides maximum):  Precedents are any projects that inspired you creatively or gave you technical guidance. No Text.

  • 1 Slide - Conceptual Precedent
  • 1 Slide - Technical Precedent
  • 1 Slide - Additional Precedent

7. INITIAL SKETCHES/CONCEPT DIAGRAM (1 slide minimum, 2 slides maximum): These slides show your initial, generative ideas in sketch form. You can think of this as a sketch of the big idea, it is the chief organizing thought or decision behind the design presented in the form of a basic sketch or diagram. If you do not have a clear concept sketch it is fine to make one after the fact. These should clean, clear drawings. No Text.

8. ITERATIONS: (3 slides minimum, 5 slides maximum): The next part of the process post are the iterations you documented in your daily posts. Explain your design decisions and how your project changed at each step.

  • For build studios, choose 3-5 representative iterations of your project with 1 slides per iteration. The images should show clear, major design changes. 
  • For digital or graphics studios, have a slide for each important design decision. Generally it is best to avoid screen shots. These could include:
    • A storyboard slide
    • A slide with multiple images showing graphical character development.
    • Stylistic explorations

9. DIAGRAMS: (1 slides minimum) Diagrams of the final project.

Build studios will need at least 1-2 additional diagrams:

  • Construction Diagram:  A diagram offering insight on how the project is put together
    • Ideally, this will be an exploded axonometric
    • At minimum this can be a labeled disassembled photo  
  • Electronics Diagram: A circuit schematic showing project inputs, outputs, and architecture.

Digital studios should have a diagram of the storyboard and flow of the project.

10. ADDITIONAL FINAL IMAGES: (3 slides minimum, 5 slides maximum) Additional final images showing the culmination of your process. You should include:

  • 2-3 Images in the Booth. Make sure they are cropped, adjusted, and look great.
  • 1-2 Images in Use



Uliana Dukach and Sophie Snibbe
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Less and less children are getting the sleep they need due to over scheduling and electronics. This shortens their attention spans and weakens their immune systems. The American Pediatric Society found that sleep deprivation in children causes increased chance of having depression, diabetes, and obesity when they grow up. This book intends to  show kids the amazing dreams they can have if they follow a bedtime routine and get enough sleep! This will encourage them to get enough sleep. We think they will become more responsive to a children's book about this topic than a message from an adult. This book would be read to a child before bed. It has three popup pages with cut out pieces of paper mounted on them. The last page of the book will light up, making the child want to turn off the lights to see it better. The child can then leave the book open and use it as a night light.

The Brief Part 2 - Full Brief

Andrew Todd Marcus

The Brief is due Monday morning by 9:00AM. Please wait to complete the brief until you have received comments about your outline. Many outlines have already been commented upon, the rest should be completed shortly..

Remember, all documents related to the brief are found HERE. These include a note from the writing coach and the Composition Reminder Sheet.

Now that you have created an document that outlines all of the information you want to relate in the Brief, it is time to weave that information together into a strong narrative that ties together the Why, How and What and Who of your project through clear, cogent writing. Tell the story of how your idea was born, developed, and manifested.

Create 1 post titled “The Brief” in the Writing tab with text that includes the following 2 items, numbered:

  1. A 1-2 sentence project description for your transcript. This will serve as the basis of the Project Description that appears in your transcript. This description should not include the name of the project and should be written in the third person. This was Question 1 in your Outline.
    Night Light Blankie: A child's sensory blanket that provides comfort and privacy in the high stress environment of the hospital using weight, textures, and light. The blanket transforms into a mini light up fort over a child’s head.
    Cocoon: a shroud that explores human spirituality and the concept of life after death through the use of repetitive religious iconography. Composed of over 300 pieces of laser cut balsa wood lined with space tape, the icons are arranged using a mathematical strange attractor.
  1. A 1-2 paragraph brief for your project based on the description below. This will be based off the information you put together in your Outline and should focus on style. The NuVu writing coach will give you feedback and you will have the opportunity to revise this text before the final presentation. The primary purpose of The Brief is to explain, entice, and convince the reader that your project is amazing and important. Imagine your project on display in the Museum of Modern Art. The Brief is hanging on the wall next to your work. In 1-2 paragraphs, a viewer should understand what your project is, why it exists, and how you made it, and who it is for. More importantly, the viewer should be interested and care. You will draw them into your project through a compelling narrative.

    Things to think about:
    • Use the information in your Outline. Do not simply put all of the answers together -- you must weave it together into a clear story.
    • The what is a clear statement of the thesis or problem+solution. Your project description for your transcript (#1 above) can be adapted for this purpose.
    • The why explains how your project changes the world. It is the reason your project exists – what social issue is it engaging, who is your project helping, how does the project change the world, and what important social, intellectual, or technical questions does it raise? The scope of the why can vary widely.
    • The how briefly explains what technical prowess, innovative methods, or cool materials you used in your solution.
    • The who explains who will use your design, why they will use it, and in what context.
    • Think of the reader - it is good to imagine that a college admissions officer AND a potential employer in the field of your design should both be able to understand and be excited by the project based on your writing.

Write in the Third person in an explanatory fashion. Resist using I, WE, OUR, or YOU and focus on describing the work.

Here is an example from Penelope the Pain-O-Monster:

Pediatricians and other doctors find it challenging to collect accurate self reported information from children about their level of pain due to lack of communication skills, fear, anxiety, and discomfort. Traditional 1-10 pain scales do not fully address these issues, often leading to uncomfortable children and inaccurate symptom information. Penelope the Pain-O-Monster is a cute plush toy that uses integrated pressure sensors to allow children to express their source and level of pain through play.

A previous project, The EmoOwl, helped children with autism to express themselves by translating motion into color. Penelope the Pain-O-Monster grew out of the desire to expand children’s health menagerie with a different stuffed animal, one that makes the pain charts patients use to express their pain more interactive and easier for a child to use. Because research has shown that playing with stuffed animals can take children’s mind off pain, an additional “Fun” mode was added to distract from pain and anxiety. The handcrafted stuffed animal uses force sensors in different body parts that light up from blue to red depending on how hard they are pushed to show the child’s pain level. The hope is that, as one of many future healthcare friends, Penelope can help sick children feel safer while providing more useful information to care providers.

A Dog For Aziz Final

Noor Ansari
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Blue Bear Red Bear

Ryan McClennen and Teresa Lourie
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The book my partner and I have created is a short, rhyming story that uses lyrical writing and colorful, sharp images to present a confusing and uncomfortable topic to kids in a way that is easier to analyze. Children can often be some of the most open-minded individuals out there, which is why it is so important that they start to explore challenging topics at a young age. By exposing young children to such things early on, we are saving them a lot of confusion later on and paving the way for them to start forming their own ideas and opinions. We wanted to create a story in which a child could question the actions of the characters, and by beginning to question, want to explore and learn more. After the story was written and formatted, the images were planned out by page and painted with acrylics. The images were then photographed and brought into Photoshop so the colors could be altered to match a common palette.