Project Board

Ben Ferguson
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Mapping Drug Abuse

Max Allaire

The project is to bring people together who have some affiliation with this crisis. Having all of these people who are ready to talk about there experiences and ideas on how to change would be groundbreaking to helping the addicts not just in Cambridge but nationwide. People who would come to meet include recovering addicts, doctors, FDA ambassadors, and families of addicts. There needs to be change and this seems to be the best way to start the  change.

Poverty Mapped

Ethan Donaldson and Nick Hollingsworth
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Ethan Donaldson

This project is meant to spread awareness about poverty, homelessness, and the rest in between. The message is conveyed through maps, a map room concept, statistics, and other media. The soul of the project is a map room in which people are filmed talking about their experiences with poverty/homelessness, and, on a map, mark places significant to the experience. The Idea/Body is a compilation of maps showing different poverty statistics, along with verbal experiences from people living an impoverished life. Ideally, the project includes a whole map room displaying these verbal experiences in a video and showing the maps, and a means of documenting to expand on the room.  The issues the project engages include poverty, homelessness, and the affordable housing system. Key findings from topic research. S/Eastern U.S.A has the highest concentration of section based housing projects, along with the most Federal assistance in such. Near 12.3% of the Central Sq. population, as wealthy of an area as it is, is marked below the poverty line. The project educates the general public about the issues this project addresses (homelessness, poverty, affordable housing.) The project changes the way the public sees the impoverished, the working poor, and the homeless by gaining insight into what it's like to live below the poverty line constantly. Q: Why, as a community, do people give less attention to those less fortunate when it is possible that anybody can become that.
Stakeholders in the project include charity workers, the homeless, people at risk of bankruptcy, other people in the same area. The intended location for the map room is the Carl F. Barron Plaza, on the corner of Mass. Ave and Prospect St. The specific location is important, because of its density in homeless settlers (people who stop for  prolonged periods or living there.) The maps convey different data sets, and when accumulated, show important information, which can be more expressive than reading through a data log. The map room would be something you can walk in and interact with immediately; a person could come read/listen to the prompted guiding questions, and use that to place points/landmarks. The user walks into the park, listens to the prompt, walks up to the main Central Sq. map and picks up a marker from a tray next to it, and marks that they feel is an answer to the question. The intended materials include a large print of central square (ink on canvas.) For plotting points, the user would have a big marker to use. Questions that might arise; What makes your experience unique, but relatable to others impoverished? e What places are relevant to your experience, why?

Nick Hollingsworth

Our project concept is a map room located in the Carl F. Baron plaza. People who are impoverished and living without homes will help construct a map of Central Square that reflects their experiences, including where they sleep and spend their time. In America today about 1.56 million people, or 0.5 percent of the population, are homeless or "living without homes." The homeless are seen every day and passed by many either asking for money or food. Our map room aims to portray their perspectives on their lifestyle and allow them to share positive memories. We are designing this project to show an inner look into other peoples lives and lifestyle that is not common for most people in the country.

The map of Central Square will be mounted on two pillars in Carl F. Baron Plaza. The plaza is a very open place in Central Square through which a large number of people pass on their morning commutes and other times of the day. Two visual prompts are presented with the map to guide the mapping process. One prompt asks them to mark with a red dot on the map where they like to hang out/sleep. Another prompt will ask them to mark a place that they have had an enjoyable memory on the map with a gold star. After marking the map, the people who participate will be asked questions about their experiences in the community and filmed. The hope is that gradually the map will fill up with dots and stars, and the video will expand to give the people of Cambridge a more nuanced view of what it means to be homeless in the area.

Ocean Acidification

Siena Jekel and Uliana Dukach
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Siena Brief:

Mapping ocean acidification shows sets of maps inspired aquatic fauna populations in the Cambridge area. maps like these are designed to inspire people in the community to create their own maps to assist with conservation, based on their experiences. This map room explores how and where ocean acidification is affecting marine life in the area, as excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is absorbed by the ocean. Some key findings from Mapping ocean acidification are how most of the northern areas in the world have the most ocean acidification, This shows that all the wildlife in the northern areas are in danger.stakeholder's are some people who relate to Mapping ocean acidification, and a map room is a room that allows people to create and observe maps. Some stakeholders are a MIT student's, because they are creating a organization that confronts ocean acidification. Another stakeholder is the Aquarium of New England, because they are trying to take care of the marine life that is being harmed from ocean acidification. 

Potential locations for this map room are parks in Cambridge, or the Aquarium of New England. Mapping ocean acidification works by showing people data about ocean acidification, and allowing them to map what they know about this topic. Mapping materials that will be provided will be provided, are paper, tabs, and markers. Some questions that will guide this MapRoom  are What is your most memorable moment with an Marine animal , or has the amount of wildlife in the ocean decreased, based on personal experience. 

Drug Abuse

Ben Ferguson and Max Allaire
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Ben Ferguson
This Drug abuse map is a collectively built map that displays the sites and extent of drug abuse in the Cambridge area, incorporating input from recovering addicts, doctors, addicts, police officers, and the general public. The soul of this project is to show how much drug abuse is going on in the Boston area. The project explores drug abuse because it is a major problem that is happening in the U.S. and the Cambridge area. In Boston there was between 28 to 52 deaths per one hundred thousand persons. This project allows recovering addicts and addicts to share their stories; local cops to advise the public on where people are doing drugs and to remind them to stay safe; and the general public to recognize the extent of the problem and add their input to the map: where they have witnessed drug use, come across drug paraphernalia, or experienced weird behavior. Each group of people affected by the problem will come in and mark on tracing paper that will overlay the map the answers to questions like: Where is Narcan distributed in the Boston area? Where have you seen drugs being used? Who did you talk to during the time you consumed? Where do you feel safest? This helps anyone from state and city officials to locals in the Boston area who want to be informed about the drug problem around them.

Max Allaire

This projects dwells into the severity of the opioid epidemic nationwide and locally. The maps are significant as their main purpose is to bring awareness to this problem. The project has many different layers and some of those are emotional and others are statistics. The colors represent the deaths per 100,000 people. There is not really any patterns regarding the different states except for the fact most overdoses occur in the eastern region of the United States. Further studying this epidemic brings awareness that not only are users are affected but the ones around them are affected as well. Another key fact in the research is the fact that Cambridge has been a hub of opioid abuse these past few years, but this past year there has been improvements in the amount of overdoses that happened. Cambridge needs help with bringing awareness to the subject of addiction and this map fives that help and awareness.

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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. 


Portfolio & Presentation Posts Fall18

Andrew Todd Marcus
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Your portfolio tab is the part of your project viewable to the world. This is where you will present your work to your coaches and peers for your studio review presentation. This is also what family, friends, colleges, the media, and everyone outside of NuVu will see. It is the record of your work and must stand alone, telling a compelling story of your project.

Portfolio pages have 2-3 posts in this order:

  1. The Presentation Post: 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.
  2. Optional Video: This post's privacy is set to Everyone. A video showing the interactive functionality of your project. The title of this post will be Video.
  3. Presentation Script: This post's privacy is set to School. Each group will post their script for there presentation. This post will be used to prepare for and practice your presentation. This post should be titled "Presentation Script" and should not be made public. Alternatively, 


After reading this post and completing your Portfolio Tab, you must make sure you have done the following:

Mapping Eating Habits in Cambridge

Noah Newton-Cheh and Beatrix Metral
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Beatrix's Brief:

Eating Habits in Cambridge: a map room created to explore the stories of how people eat. Anyone who comes in will be mapping what they like to eat, why, what they wish they could eat, and whether or not they think what they eat is good for them. 

In this Map Room, parents and their children will be asked three guiding questions: where do you eat, where would you want to eat, and where do you think it is healthy to eat? By thinking about these questions, they will be able to tell us what they define as “healthy”, what restaurants they like, and what they most commonly eat. Using existing MapRoom technology, we will provide the mapmakers with projected images of the city of Cambridge with all of its restaurants, parks, gyms, and hospitals that treat obesity. By having people map out what they eat and focusing on whether or not it’s good for them, and asking questions like “am I really making the right choices?” they can start to become more educated about food and what they eat.

Mapping Eating Habits in Cambridge can help people like the mayor identify “food deserts” in Cambridge, areas that lack healthy food choices so that people who live there can’t make good meal decisions. For example, if someone circled a Whole Foods and said “I want to go here, but I can’t because it’s too far away”, city officials could encourage healthy restaurants and grocery stores to build there. This project can also change the way people view how they eat by asking them to think about their eating choices and why they eat healthily or unhealthily. In the U.S., the obesity rate is a stunning 74.1%, compared to countries like Italy (42%), New Zeland (30.8%) or Vietnam (0.5%). A large part of the reason why Americans are obese is that they don’t know what their food is doing to them. Brands like Coca-Cola advertise health products that are in fact bad for you, but because of the way they are marketed people keep having more and more. Stakeholders who will be brought to our MapRoom will include doctors and educators who can talk about obesity and eating decisions, and parents and children so the parents can learn about what they should be feeding their children and the children can tell the parents what they’re eating when they are away (school lunches, outings with friends, etc). This MapRoom could be held in a health restaurant, farmer’s market or gym to expose the mapmakers to healthier eating options and lifestyle choices.

Noah's Brief:

Mapping Eating Habits in Cambridge is meant to give parents and children insightful information about where the healthiest places to eat are and where children eat. The map uses stickers to mark restraints and identify them as either healthy, okay, or unhealthy.

My project addresses the obesity epidemic. During my research, I learned that the states that had the highest rates of obesity were also the states that had the lowest average income and the least active people. My project helps parents and children by educating them on the causes of obesity  as well as what a person can do to prevent obesity. It will push people to eat healthily and exercise, which will lower obesity. My map makes the viewer question where the most healthy places to eat are. My project is for Americans who aren't knowledgeable about the causes and effects of obesity. Stakeholders such as parents and children to our map room so that we get different perspectives from relevant sources. We will put our map in the CambridgeSide mall so that people that walked through can see it.

Stickers are used on a map to mark healthy and unhealthy restaurants. We will only to complete the map we need to project a map of the restaurants in Cambridge and smiley face stickers and frowny face stickers. We will ask about where people eat vs. where people enjoy eating vs. what a healthy eating choice is. This forces them to think about the health benefits and drawbacks of different places.

Central Changes

Julian Kennedy and Christopher Kitchen
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Julian Kennedy:


A documentation of the discussions and dialogues between different groups of people relating to the multi-faceted issue of gentrification and the role it has played in their lives. The documentation will culminate with a collaborative map of Central Square.


Gentrification is a controversial issue all across the United States. Central Square, Cambridge is a community that has undergone extensive development in recent years with no sign of stopping. The goal of the Central Changes map room is to create a dialogue between people of Central Square from different sides of the recent development and to display their varied perspectives and experiences to the community. The people brought in will be a mix of biotech employees, current and former residents, current and former store owners, and current and former minimum wage laborers. These groups of people will prompt compelling discussions during the process. 

The process will proceed as follows: The group will be seated around a mounted canvas where they will try to convert discussion points into imagery on the map. A facilitator will prompt the group with different questions and project different 'data layers' onto the canvas to aid the group. A sample question might be, "What and where do you think of when you hear 'change in Central Square'?" and a sample 'data layer'might show the number of years since each building has been constructed. The entire exercise will be recorded with a video camera. The final product will be a framed board in Lafayette Square split into three panels. The first panel will display information about the project, the second panel will be the physical map created, and the final panel will be a video compilation of the process. Lafayette Square is a compelling place in Central Square to put the product because it has had recent development itself, and is also a welcoming community space. When completed, the hope is that Central Changes will catch the eye of newer, more privileged residents, in particular, educating them about the history of the square and how gentrification has affected different community members and making them more considerate and empathetic towards those who are less privileged. 

Chris Kitchen:


A proposal for a map room in Central Square to explore the consequences of the intense gentrification in Central over the past 10-15 years. This will bring together groups of people with different perspectives and open up a dialogue about how Central's changes affected each group. 


"Central Changes" is a proposal to bring together a few different community groups to discuss the changes brought about by gentrification in Central Square over the past ten to fifteen years and how they have affected different communities. For example, as local stores and restaurants are being replaced by big chains, local store owners will have a more and more difficult time making a living. At the same time, however, this is helpful to the consumer in knowing where to buy certain goods and potentially give more budget-friendly. The hope is to bring in workers from biotech (one of the biggest driver for Central's changing landscape), local stores (owners and employees), and Central Square residents (both former and current) and have them answer a few questions about their personal experiences with Central's changing landscape, like "What first comes to mind when you hear "changes in Central Square?"" or "What are memorable places for you in Central, and how have they changed over time?" The participants will be asked to mark relevant locations on the map provided, and also to add a comment giving perspective on their specific experience. To help focus on the actual discussion between the groups, and on their personal experience, the moderators will project any objective information about the changes onto the working area, including the year of construction for buildings, and what stores were there, beforehand, so that time isn't wasted trying to flesh out details by memory. After the groups have finished marking the map for each question, they will be given a final task "Of the changes discussed, identify what changes that you would deem good, neutral, and bad, based on your personal experience. Once the map is finished, the display will not only feature the final map and a project description, but also a recording of the making process. Hopefully, this all together will be able to show people how much gentrification can change a place, and how much that can change its different communities.

The Brief Part 2 - Full Brief

Andrew Todd Marcus

The Brief Part 2 - Full Brief

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.