Christopher Kitchen
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Skipper is a piece of black Indian soapstone that has been worked with to remind viewers of the ocean and beach. The stone for Skipper was originally chosen due to its natural geometry and patterns, which seemed to encourage carving a cavern into it. The original plan was to make a small "cave" in the stone, that would have a colorfully illuminated shard of glass at its center. Eventually, the idea shifted to turning the carved section of the stone into a wave shape and then evolved into making the entire stone evoke the ocean, using the carved section as the waves and water, and polishing the "rear" faces that aren't directly facing observers to suggest rocks smoothed by erosion. The texture that started the project will remind viewers of the sand, mimicking the geometries waves make on the beach. The front of the rock beyond the wave and beach faces have been kept as rough rocks, to remind viewers of the cliffs and large un-eroded rock formations that can sometimes be found near and around beaches.

Eternal river

Richard Lourie

I started creating Eternal River by choosing a rock to work with.The rock that I chose is a green soapstone. I was really drawn to the color of the rock and the way the different striations in the rock were very different shades. After I chose the rock, I started exploring the natural shape of the soapstone, finding and expanding the dips and curves that were already there. The emerging path that I was carving began to resemble a river, its twists and turns flowing around the rock. The rock has a very natural flow to it that the user can explore and follow sight and touch. The rough shape of the piece was created with a Dremel rotary tool with a grinder; a diamond sander attachment was used to smooth out the surface a little; and finally, sandpaper was used to smooth it out even more. The piece should be looked at and touched by the viewer. Touching the piece allows you to follow its flow with your hand.


Tony Whelan


2 x 2.8 x 1.9

Because there is a past, there is a future.

Shrine uses undying materials that have a history of being worshiped by the ancient Egyptians. Shrine is an architectural piece of limestone with carved straight lines and little cave openings in the deep cracks. At one corner, is a piece of smooth lapiz that spins around and makes a tinkling noise. Shrine has a deep shine and is very smooth. There is a sun detailing on the top of the stone. The viewer should be encouraged to play with the lapiz wheel, and run their hand along the cracks in the stone. The viewer can see the piece in whatever way that they do. 


Janice Tabin

While Cavities has many stories to it, its a double entendré at its core. The name "Cavities" refers to both the polished indentations that travel around the rock, and the carving of a human's bottom jaw on the other side. The sculpture also features an array of scratches of different depths, expressing the frustrations of artist's block and possibly having a cavity. 

The glossiness of the craters in contrast to the roughness of the scratches invites people to touch the rock, but the underbelly was left rocky so that more carvings are not expected and the mouth comes as a surprise when their hands arrive at the end of the smooth path.

The creation of Cavities was a spontaneous process, with the rock itself shaping the direction of the piece. No power tools were used, which slowed the process but allowed an intimacy between sculptor and sculpture and an organic nuance that would otherwise be lost. An additional challenge arose in working entirely by hand as some of the tools would typically be attached to a power tool, and used independently for long periods of time would hurt the sculptor's hands. Therefore it became necessary to sculpt custom handles out of wood to make the bits easier to work with.

The first rock I was drawn to gave me a very embryonic feeling, it was light-colored and egg-shaped, and it fit in my hand in a way that made my relationship with it feel very nurturing. I had a very strong bond with it, so I was excited to see how I could develop it further. But the material was high enough on the Mohs Scale of Hardness that it was very hard to work with. So I chose this rock. It is a soapstone, a 2.5 out of 10, which is much softer than my original rock, a 7. 

Being new to sculpting rocks, I started by deepening the natural crevices of my rock, and it responded by growing a tongue. I felt like a dentist from tools I used and the protection I wore, so I added a row of teeth. After I finished the mouth I lost my inspiration, I tried to add more human traits like ears and eyes but the rock didn't like that, so in the frustration of artist's block I attacked the rock with my tools until it had a mitten of scars on it. From there I followed the natural flow and dips of the rock to create a large number of craters across it that branched out from each other, creating a path, and proceeded by polishing it to give it a contrast from the jaggedness of it's surrounding faces. 

My intention for this piece is for the mouth to be a surprise, so I kept those areas natural and displayed it with the mouth facing down so people would have to interact with the piece to discover it's more humorous twist. 

This studio reinstated my confidence in working by hand. The mentality at this school is that power tools are always the most efficient way to make something, but that is not necessarily the case. For me, at least, working by hand allows a more intimate relationship with the material, resulting in more precise sculpting and an organic feeling in the final product.


This post's privacy is set to Everyone. This post showcases your final design by telling 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.

  • Every Slide should have a Title and Caption.
    The body of this post is The Brief. You should include a version of the Brief for each collaborator in the project.
  • This post will be used in your review presentation at the end of the session.

You are encouraged to make your narrative as compelling as possible. All of the content below should be included, but if you would like to rearrange the material in order to tell your story differently, work with your coach.


Your presentation is a narrative, and the introduction sets up the scene for that story. Here you introduce the project, say why it is important, and summarize what you did.

TITLE WITH TAGLINE: 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

EVOCATIVE  IMAGE: This is a single image that shows a clear image that evokes the soul of your project. 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 discuss the context of your project. No Text on the slide.

THESIS STATEMENT: This is a TEXT ONLY slide for which briefly describes the Soul and Body of your project. You can use the project description from your Brief or write something new. This statement ties together your narrative.


  • 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. 


The Process Portion of your presentation tells the story of how you iteratively developed your project. Somewhere in that story you should include conceptual and technical precedents that guided you at each stage as well as brainstorming and process sketches and clear photo booth imagery for 3-4 stages of your process.

This portion is made up of three types of slides repeated 3-4 times. Each iteration in your process should include:

  • PRECEDENTS:  Precedents are any projects that inspired you creatively or gave you technical guidance. These can include conceptual precedents and technical precedents. No Text.
  • SKETCHES/SKETCH CONCEPT DIAGRAMS: These slides show your generative ideas in sketch form. These should clean, clear drawings. A sketch should show a clear idea. Do not simply scan a messy sketchbook page and expect that people will understand. If you do not have a clear concept or working sketches it is fine to make them after the fact. No Text.
  • PROTOTYPE IMAGES:  These are actual images of the prototypes  you documented in your daily posts. These images illustrate your design decisions and how your project changed at each step. No Text.


The Final stage of your presentation is the resolution of your narrative and shows your completed work. The use diagram shows how your project works and the construction diagram shows how it is assembled. Final photos show the project both in action and at rest. The imagery captures your final built design.

USE 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

MECHANICAL DIAGRAM:  A diagram offering insight on how the project is put together and functions technically.

  • Ideally, this will be an exploded axonometric
  • At minimum this can be a labeled disassembled photo  

ELECTRONICS or OTHER DIAGRAM: Additional diagrams showing some important aspect of your design. 

IMAGERY: The last slides should have an images of the final project. These images should be taken in the photo booth, cropped, and adjusted for contrast, brightness, etc. Images should include:

  • An image of the project in use (taken in the booth or at large). This should include a human interacting with the project.
  • Images of project alone. Include at least one overall image and one detail image.
  • You can also use an image In-Use. 
  • Consider using a GIF to show how the project works. 


The Script - Instructions for the Post

Andrew Todd Marcus

The primary purpose of your Presentations  at NuVu is to describe the creative and technical journey you undertook in developing your project. In this post you will write what you are going to say, slide by slide, for your Final Post.   During your presentation you will not read from this script. It is here to help you frame your presentation and give insight to website visitors. 

Remember, you are encouraged to make your narrative as compelling as possible. All of the content below should be included, but if you would like to rearrange the material in order to tell your story differently, work with your coach.

Feel free to organize the post by slides in the presentation. The example below if for a build studio but the concept holds for a film/animation studio.

Slide 1: Write out your title and tagline.
Slide 2: Describe why your project exists, who it is for, and how that relates to the evocative image.
Slide 3: Write out your thesis.
Slides 4-15: Walk through each iteration, from initial concept to penultimate design

  • Discuss how each precedent inspired/informed your design.
  • Discuss your  sketches - how they arose from your brainstorming and how they informed the start of your design process, and how they changed and your design changed
  • Discuss each prototype - Briefly describe major design changes and how they effected the overall project arc and design.

Slide 16: Explain your use diagram - how is your your project used or function in the world.
Slide 17: Explain your mechanical diagram. Walk through how your project is put together and functions mechanically.
Slides 18-20: Walk through each of the final images and describe the overall use/design of project. Discuss the final prototype, what was a success, and where your project might go from here.

Your Presentation will:

  • Introduce the general context of your project
  • Present the thesis or design problem and how you approached the solution
  • Using precedents, begin to tell the story of the genesis and development of your actual design.
  • Describe the overall design concept.
  • Delve deeply into the heart of the design process through a description of major design iterations.
  • Thoroughly describe the final design technically and functionally through the reference to your diagrams.
  • Walk through the final images, discussing how everything came together.
  • Discuss the conceptual and technical challenges you faced. These should be broad view issues, not hyper-specific technical issues.
  • Your vision for where your project can go.


Natalie Ferry

Tacenda: a sculpture carved out of alabaster that aims to capture the moment when a hand comes in contact with an object and the relationship that those two things form. The sculpture is carved out of alabaster, a soft translucent stone. Using various grades of sandpaper and cut wheels, the block is carved away to reveal a space for hands to gravitate.

When the viewer comes in contact with the object, the placement of the various pathways and carvings become less random and more curated (intentional). The piece invites the viewer to run their right hand down the carved stone. Starting at the top, the hand fits in and then like water can flow down the pathways to the bottom. An elbow-like shape on the underside allows the piece to pivot and rotate. The sculpture is meant to capture movement and spark imagination. When somebody views the piece, it should come to life while connecting them to their environment. The process began with experimenting with the various tools to see which worked best with the material and also what felt most comfortable to use. 

As the carving began, it informed the way the gestures and stone fit together. Drawing on the rock allowed for mapping out where changes in the elevation and curves of the piece should take place. The deeper pathways will be polished and smooth, and the rest of the piece will be smooth but not as polished in order to draw the viewer's attention to the polished part. When working with natural materials, the material forces the artist to focus on the strengths and weaknesses of the material which inevitably alter the designs in ways the artist didn't plan. This is different from how designers typically work because designers tend to force the materials to do what they want. A lot of times when someone is designing something they have an idea and then make the materials conform to that idea. When an artist sculpts, the materials that are used do not like to be forced.

In this project, the material leads and the designer follows.

The Brief Part 2 - Full Brief

Andrew Todd Marcus

The Brief is due Tuesday 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.

Studio Description

Andrew Todd Marcus and Benjamin Heller
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Activated sculpture : Invitation and discovery, fit and flow

In this studio we will explore the hands-on skills, tools, and dynamic process of transforming organic natural materials into choreographed sculpture objects and affordance based interactive design. 

Getting our hands dirty, and engaging our bodies, the studio offers an immersion into the physical actions of directly shaping materials found in nature, such as wood and stone into tactile and active sculptural objects. We will work from our own direct personal experiences in contact with artworks, as well as considering both contemporary and historic art and technological references. 

We will take intensified focus on how the craft and rigors of taking a project through the final stages of finishing, with an eye toward extending the time and ways people will interact with it. We will work in the non-digital wood and stone carving and shaping techniques (digital in the definition of fingers as digits) of the hand making process. We will be considering also how the strengths of both hand and computer techniques interconnect and work to benefit each other effecting final use and adding meaning though-out the entire making process. 

Physical Goals:

  • Create a fully finished, tactile, and meaningful sculpture work carved in wood or stone.
  • Create a project with these new processes and techniques that includes an additional interactive dynamic.
  • Relate drawing in 3d to drawing objects in the analog hand process.
  • Explore creative movement excercise as a method of generating ideas, gathering from our personal experience, and also taking constructive breaks.
  • Introduce precedents of artworks and natural forces and phenomena relating to our course activities.
  • Direct development of physical relationship to sculptural objects through field trips and tactile research.
  • Creating studio set-ups for working with water and dust.
  • Sourcing and working found materials.

Conceptual Goals:

  • Explore how material choices, tactility, and the traces of nature in organic materials create meaning.
  • How to develop and lengthen attention span... in both the action of craft and final finished work.
  • How does craft itself read as time, and invite extended time with a piece?
  • Working towards embodiment over illustration
  • Increasing connection with nature and the Environment
  • Forward and backward, additive and subtractive processes and connection with both old and new technologies.