Portfolio Day January 3rd

Jenny Kinard

Portfolio Day

After the Final Presentation, you have the opportunity to consider your presentation in light of final feedback and discussion. You will spend additional time reviewing you presentations, refining you portfolio, and polishing you work before it is made public on the internet.

The Self Evaluation is an opportunity for you to reflect on your work during the Studio. Students and Coaches receive the same prompts and categories, and the students will evaluate their own progress and skill levels in Design Skills and Subject Skills applicable to the studio both numerically and textually. Through a narrative, you will also reflect on the quality and rigor of your work, give feedback on the studio, and have the opportunity to receive similar feedback directly from the coach.

The Presentation Post - Alex Shigueta

Alex Shigueta and Leighton Gray

Alex Shigueta: Snowman Spin Seat: A comfortable hollow snowman that spins when a child climbs inside and provides shelter from the cold and inclement Boston winter.

It's common for people in winter climates to experience a form of seasonal depression that keeps them inside, feeling tired and dreading the cold. The Snowman Spin Seat entices people to go outside and enjoy winter while having quality family time and making or bringing back childhood memories of the playground. What could be more inviting in the middle of a snow-covered playground than a spinning snowman that bestows comfort, warmth, and joy upon the occupant? A child can climb into the hollowed-out body, setting it spinning, and gaze out the head at the winter wonderland. The Spin Seat is built to be large and sturdy enough that younger children can sit on a parent's lap inside it, and older children can hold on to the outside. As Snowman Spin Seats make their way onto playgrounds, more people will discard any preconceptions about the cruelty of winter.

The spin seat relies on a simple design of spheres and enlarged cones that combine to create a round, top-like design. When the occupant sits down, gravity induces the seat to spin around on the center point. The inside grants the user the ability to peer out from the head of the snowman, giving the impression of "embodying" the snowman. Children can imagine themselves to be Frosty the Snowman, or Olaf from Frozen. The Snowman Spin Seat allows people to have fun while also offering warmth in the coldest season. The spherical design pushes wind around the snowman, not into it, offering a cozy retreat from the blustery cold.

Leighton Gray: Spinning snowman: A sheltering, comfortable, and family-friendly four-foot snowman that spins around when people enter it.

In the winter in  Boston,  people tend to stay in their homes, rather than venturing out into the cold, compounding the symptoms of those who suffer from seasonal depression. Spinning Snowman is designed to draw families out of their homes and get them to play in the parks on a snowy day. The snowman will be installed in Tadpole Park playground because it appeals to children, but standing at four feet tall everyone can play with it. Inspired by designer Thomas Heatherwick's spun chairs, which he installed in London in 2010, the snowman spins from its base when children sit in the snowman and add their weight to it. The Spinning Snowman posed additional design challenges due to its size, the fact that it is enclosed, and safety concerns: the base extends very wide to ensure that it is stable enough to hold children and adults. An eye-height hole in the snowman's head allows the user to peer through and “become” the snowman when they are inside. What could be more exciting to a child on a cold day then a sheltering snowman they  can enter into and embody as it spins around?

The Media Lightbox

Kyle Banker and Ross McNeill
1 / 22

With the spread of the phenomenon of fake news, and with undemocratic leaders taking advantage of the phenomenon to label true news as fake, everyone is forced to think about whether what they read is from a reliable source and is accurate. Because it can be hard to determine the reliability of an article, many people believe and spread false information, and in the process bring great economic benefits to the those responsible for the fake articles. Also, individuals who have believed and spread "fake news" have created tremendous political and social tension, tearing those with opposite political views further away. With the recently made False Media Exposer product "The Media Lightbox," viewers will come to understand who is benefiting from the spread of fake news and will be more cautious before reading and passing along an article from an unknown source.

This product will highlight some of the many false news headlines along with statistics about the income they bring to the media companies that perpetuate them. At the front of the artifact, the viewer will see a false media headline in which a great number of people believed and spread throughout social media platforms. Then, the user will look into the lightbox through a slit and will see the true headline at the back of the box, resulting in the viewer realizing the likeliness of believing false media. When the user looks below the box, they will see a statistic created by a light fixture that is supported at the top of the box, influencing the user to come to the realization that false media is prospering internationally due to many people believing its information. The hope is that the artifact will reach enough individuals who read and believe false media to the point where they will become more cautious in their approach to reading these articles. And without people contributing to the economic success of false media, the news will become more reliable again because it will no longer be profitable to alter information.

Pathway Tunnel Presentation

Jason Saperstone and Alex Cracraft
1 / 25

Brief - Adam Drizen:

For many people in Boston, building a gingerbread house is a family tradition, but even those without the tradition will be drawn to the life-size Gingerbread Wonderland. The attractions of Gingerbread Wonderland encompass family, excitement, playfulness, and spontaneity. Located in Boston Common the Gingerbread Wonderland will be open to the public, and the hope is that it will motivate families and people of all ages to explore the park in the winter months. The house is a place for people to visit, explore, and help build.

The primary joy of making a gingerbread house does not come from eating it, but from the building and decorating. This house, large enough for people to walk inside, can be designed by the community using the available foam ginger panels, candies and other decorations. Inside the house hangs a swing that generates soap bubbles when people swing on it. Accessible scaffolding around the house allows users to reach higher areas to decorate. Two slides with candy-cane railings attached to the scaffolding offer alternate ways to return to ground level The Gingerbread Wonderland will make people come out into the city in winter, generating more fun for the children outside and a stronger community. 

Brief - Samantha Shapiro:

A life-size playground gingerbread house that incorporates hands-on foam decorating, a bubble machine swing, and two candy cane-themed slides to excite children and bring in families. The aim is to help families stay connected during a busy time of year as well as to promote play and outdoor activity in the winter. 

For many people, building and decorating gingerbread houses brings back memories of family and childhood happiness. By bringing a life-size gingerbread house into a Boston Commons playground, families will be able to relive these moments and create new lifelong memories. Gingerbread House offers a combination of hands-on decorating, swinging, and sliding to excite children. A scaffolding walkway around the side of the house enables guests to add foam decorations on two levels. In this one-of-a-kind experience, guests can not only slide down two hollowed candy canes but also swing on top of a human-sized gingerbread man triggering a bubble machine. This playhouse helps keep families active outside during the winter and aims to challenge the construct that play is just for kids. While at first sight, this attraction may appeal most to kids, adults will also enjoy the atmosphere of the space as well as the building and decorating aspects. As for Boston, this installation would bring in a new sense of energy. In Boston, often the coldest days are the dreariest. With this installation, these days would attract the most people and bring the most energy to this snowy city. 

Blog Post

Alex Cracraft

Today, we worked on switching over to pentagons to improve the look of the rotation of our installation. We also worked with creating our half scale model for the end of the week. We hope to use triple layers to secure our frame. We also will use L brackets to attach it securely to the ground.

The Brief Part 2 - Full Brief

Andrew Todd Marcus

The Brief Part 2 - Full Brief v2


This is Due Tuesday morning


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

Create 1 post titled “The Brief v2” in the Writing tab.  The text should include the items below and should take into consideration the edits given to you on your draft v1 from the writing coaches.

  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.
    examples:
    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.

Summary Post 2 - Alex Cracraft

Alex Cracraft

During the winter season, foot traffic and business slows in Boston. Our goal is to help bring people outside. Our project, Pathway Tunnel, inspires and reveals an unexpected surprise. 

We began with the same arch design as before, but after our mid review, we explored other options. First, we switched our design from arches to hexagons. We rotated them to attempt to create the illusion of the hexagons rotating, but it didn't turn out as perfectly as we'd hoped. Pentagons may have worked better. We also switched from hand soldering every LED together to LED strips. This also allows us complex patterns with the strips. 

Our decisions didn't really change our thesis. We just used the coaches' feedback to improve our design and better support our thesis. Scaling the strip design is proved to be challenging. We had the correct code, and what seemed to be the correct wiring, but I had the wires trying to send a signal in the wrong direction. I soldered the jumpers onto the correct side, and it fixed it. We'll be installing the second strip on Monday.

The Brief - Alex Cracraft

Alex Cracraft

Pathway Tunnel: An interactive art installation that's made up of pentagons that appear to be rotating, all being placed over a pathway in Columbus Park to increase foot traffic during the winter. Pedestrians passing by activate a range of colorful LEDs by triggering infrared motion sensors as they walk through our installation.

We created this project to compete in the New Urban Mechanics Snowy City challenge, as well as increasing foot traffic in the Columbus park area. Our projects exists to help combat seasonal affective disorder, as well as bringing people outside during the winter months. Our project utilizes an Arduino, IR sensors, and an LED strip. A user simple walks or rolls through the pathway, and can activate the lights without any effort. 


During the winter season, foot traffic and business slows in Boston. Our goal is to help bring people outside. Our project, Pathway Tunnel, inspires and reveals an unexpected surprise. 

Our project utilizes motion sensors, an Arduino and LED strips to allow users to activate a wave of light just by walking through it. As users move through the pathway, lights fade in. Made up of pentagonal lumber frames, it blends in with the existing arches at Columbus Park, while standing out at the same time. Regardless of physical ability, anyone can interact with our installation.  

The Brief - Part 1 - Outline and Brief draft

Andrew Todd Marcus

Please upload your completed Outline + Draft Brief  by Friday morning


The Brief - Part 1 - Outline

As part of your portfolio for each studio, you will be asked to write a Brief for your project. The Brief is a written piece that will accompany your presentation and is a strong narrative that ties together the Why, How and What of your project through clear, cogent writing. It tells the story of how your idea was born, developed, and manifested.

------Copy & Paste this section below into a new post and answer ALL of the questions completely ---- 

The Brief Part 1 - Outline

Answer the following questions in full, complete sentences. Title the post "Brief Outline" and post it in the Writing Tab of your Project. Every student must do this assignment. Cut and paste the assignment below and write your answers below each point. You must respond to ALL items (#4 can be skipped if there is no individual client). Click Shift-Return to start a new line.

  1. Write a A 1-2 sentence project description. This description should not include the name of the project and should be written in the third person. 
    1. What is the "soul" of your project? Describe the idea of the project in conceptual terms. This should paint a conceptual picture in the readers mind. (1 sentences)
    2. What is the "body" of your project? Describe the basic technical or physical construction of the project. This should NOT go into excessive detail, just provide an overview. Describe the project to someone with no technical knowledge in as few words as possible. The reader should be able to envision what the project looks like. ( sentences)

      Examples:
      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.
  2. Why does your project exist? The why explains how your project changes the world. It is the reason your project exists – 
    1. What social issue does your project engage? (1 sentence)
    2. Who is your project helping?  (1 sentence)
    3. How does the project change the world? This can be in a simple physical way or in a complex social way. (1 sentence)
    4. What important social, intellectual, or technical questions does it raise? (1 sentence)
  3. Who is the project for? Who will use it and in what context (1 sentence)
  4.   If you are designing for a specific person, answer the following:
    1. What is the client's name and what is their medical condition, if any? (1 sentence)
    2. How does their condition relate to your project? Include concise and compelling information about the client you are working with, their condition, and how that relates to your project design. (1 sentence)
    3. What is their personality like and how does it inform your design process? (1 sentence)
  5. How does your project work. In non-jargonistic language, answer the following 
    1. What is the basic technology behind your project? (1 sentence)
    2. What is technically innovative about your project? How does it differ from existing technology? (1 sentence)
    3. How does a user physically and mentally interact with the project? (1-2 sentences)


Now that you have created a 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.
    examples:
    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.
  2. 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 howyou 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.