• NuVu is a full-time innovation school for middle and high school students. NuVu’s pedagogy is based on the architectural Studio model and geared around multi-disciplinary, collaborative projects. We teach students how to navigate the messiness of the creative process, from inception to completion by prototyping and testing.

    So, what makes us different? 

    No Courses: Instead, we have studios. Around 12 students work closely with their 2 Coaches on solving big (and small) open-ended problems. 

    No Subjects: Instead, everything is fused together. Students find themselves moving between a studio that requires them to design a telepresence robot to another that requires them to re-imagine Boston with a cable car system. 

    No Classrooms: Instead, we have an open space that changes all the time to adapt to the needs of every studio.  

    No One-Hour Schedule: Instead, students spend two weeks from 9am-3pm solving one problem.  

    No Grades: Instead, we have portfolios that document students' design decisions and show their final products. 

  • NuVu’s pedagogy is informed by the architectural design Studio where a coach guides students in hands-on problem-solving to solve complex, comprehensive problems. The Studio model uses exercises to build skills and integrates students’ knowledge in a final project. Within each multidisciplinary Studio, students explore problems rigorously by focusing on one project for two weeks. A Studio Coach mentors students to develop their project through an iterative process over the course of the Studio. Students confront the small and large contexts within problems as they are exposed to complex, ‘messy’ situations. The NuVu Team continuously evaluates students through deskcrits and final reviews.

    Develop Real-World Solutions for the World

    Taught within the multidisciplinary framework of the design Studio rather than traditional subjects, NuVu students acquire a highly personalized understanding of the world and how they relate to it and can fully participate in it. They develop multiple solutions to problems and learn the importance of moving from one solution to the next, combining, exploring and thinking of the possibilities. They also learn how to change their perspective on an issue quickly. They learn that solutions depend on perspective, and only by understanding an issue from multiple perspectives can they fully explore the terrain of possibilities.

    Iterative Process, Constant Feedback

    The iterative process, or process of refining an idea, product or solution, in the design studio is intended to provide students with continual feedback from NuVu Coaches and Staff on performance as well as product. NuVu students also experience working in an intense, feedback-rich environment that provides them with information and support for continuous self-evaluation, reflection, and improvement.

    Learn in New Ways

    NuVu challenges students to learn in new ways: analytical thinkers are inspired to explore their creative selves, while creative students expand their capacity to think and learn analytically. NuVu capitalizes on the immense resources of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University to focus on hands-on problem solving, encourage an inventive culture, promote peer teaching and learning, and cultivate students’ curiosity.

    Portfolio-Based Assessment

    Instead of grading, NuVu uses a portfolio-based assessment. A portfolio serves as a compilation of student work done at NuVu over the course of the term, semester or full year and is meant to show the student's growth over time and development of key academic and life skills (creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, communication, research, quantitative reasoning and analysis). Each NuVu student is provided with their own online profile on NuVu's online platform where they document and present their work. At frequent periods during the term, NuVu's team works with the student to assess how far the student has developed since the beginning of the term. The portfolio-based assessment helps make learning and assessment relevant to students' lives.


    What happens in the studio?

    Students register for a specific studio such as “Balloon Mapping”, “Music and the City”, or “Future of Global Warming” of which there will be approximately 10 students, one Coach and an Assistant Coach. The Coach begins by providing a general overview of a problem to the students, an ambiguous real-world issue with an open-ended problem. With the Coach’s help each student frames the problem from his/her perspective and enters into an iterative development process supported by the studio team of students and advisors.

    Students are provided with access to outside resources – leading thinkers and experts – to whom they present their framework and receive feedback. Students document their process and progress, continually reviewing it with the Coach. They set parameters, synthesize, and continue refining, refining, refining. NuVu trains students to apply multiple perspectives to challenge and refine ideas over and over again until it becomes a natural learning process.

    NuVu-Cambridge is housed near the MIT campus and provides access to many MIT resources and experts. NuVu connects students to exciting research projects at MIT and Harvard and to PhD students who are passionate learners and teachers.

    How is NuVu structured?

    Topics, not Subjects

    NuVu’s structure is based on 2-week long Studios that take on topics related to the set theme for the Term, such as “City of the Future” or “Science Fiction.” These intensive Studios begin by identifying an issue or point of inspiration, defining the problem, and then engaging in an iterative process toward a solution.

    1. Studio

    Each Studio runs for 2 weeks, culminating in a final review where external reviewers (professors, practitioners, entrepreneurs and designers) are invited to evaluate students’ work. During the Studio period, students and coaches work together at NuVu from 9am to 3pm with the option to stay until 5pm (which happens frequently, especially before the final review). 


    2. Term

    Each Term runs for 11 weeks. Each Term contains 8 or 12 Studios with a range of topics that fall under one broad theme (“City of the Future,” “Science Fiction,” “Smarter Planet,” “Storytelling,” etc.). Each student enrolls in a sequence of 4 Studios. The Term culminates in a final public exhibit where students showcase their projects from the Term.


    3. Year

    One Year at NuVu runs 3 Terms. Enrollment for the entire Year gives students an opportunity to explore multiple creative ideas, learn about diverse fields, develop a particular project or idea in-depth over a sequence of Studios, and have a rich and diverse portfolio of projects.


  • A short video on the design process and tools used by students while at NuVu

  • Feedback, Transcripts and Evaluations are a vital part of supporting our students' academic growth to communicate student achievement to students, families, secondary schools and colleges.


    In an effort to better support our students' academic growth and provide constructive feedback, NuVu provides feedback in the form of a skill evaluation at the end of each studio session. This is a vital part of our coaches' responsibilities as they form the fundamental components of the Student Transcript and Written Evaluations.

    Feedback is part of a comprehensive transcript and evaluation process to better communicate student achievement to students, families, secondary schools and colleges. Students will have access to feedback on a per studio level and all families will receive a summation of coach comments and skills associated with studios on a per term basis.

    Feedback is composed of five part:

    • Group Feedback Session in which students and coaches discuss the goals and final products of the studio. This takes place after the student presentations for each studio.
    • Written Feedback to students offering coach thoughts on the student's experience. 
    • Internal Written Feedback to help track student progress. This feedback will not be shared with students.
    • Design Skills which reflect grasp of the basic tools for effective ideation, collaboration, design process, self-awareness, documentation and presentation

    Design Skills

    Design skill are evaluated on anachievement scale per studio and are intended to track progress and give feedback. They appear as description on the transcript and it is assumed that all students engage all design skills in every studio. Design Skills reflect the basic tools for effective ideation, collaboration, design process, self-awareness, documentation and presentation.

    The skills are:

    • Engagement (Action, Experimentation, Decisiveness)
    • Collaboration (Partnership & Leadership)
    • Synthesising Critique
    • Innovation (creative perspective)
    • Iteration (Willingness to refine concepts)
    • Critical Thinking (Problem Solving and Analyzing Information)
    • Documentation (Reflection & Communication: Effective Oral, Written and Graphical)
    • Communication (Intra-team communication, Ability to express ideas effectively to larger audience)

    Subject Skills

    Subject Skills measure technical achievement based on identified metrics and reflect the skills used in the studio.

    The Skills are:

    • Electronics Design and Fabrication
    • Mechanical Design and Fabrication
    • Woodworking
    • Metalworking
    • Sewing and Pattern Making
    • 3D Modelling
    • Parametric Modelling
    • Drawing/Illustration
    • Diagramming
    • Programming: Arduino
    • Programming: Processing
    • Programming: Multimedia (ie MaxMSP)
    • Photography
    • Film Editing and Production
    • Visual Effects
    • Sound Engineering
    • Music Theory
    • Writing: Creative
    • Writing: Expository
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Mathematics
    • Physics


    At the end of each term and their time at NuVu, students will receive a full transcript of all studios in which they participated which clearly indicates studio focus, skills addressed, and contact hours. Transcripts provide a comprehensive overview of a student's NuVu experience.

    Transcripts show:

    • Student Portfolio Link
    • Term Info
    • Studio Description
    • Project Description
    • Contact Hours
    • Skills applied within a studio
    • Studio Focus
    • Methodologies employed in the Studio

    Focus Areas

    • Fashion
    • Critical
    • Theory
    • Policy
    • Storytelling
    • Health
    • Design for Development
    • Multimedia Art
    • Music
    • Performance
    • Ecology
    • Technology
    • Food


    • Animation
    • Documentary
    • Rapid Prototyping
    • Fabrication
    • Filmmaking
    • Graphic Design
    • Photography
    • Game Design
    • Robotics
    • Electronics Design
    • Industrial Design
    • Mechanical Design
    • Architectural Design
    • Wearable Design
    • Computational Design
    • Storytelling

    Written Evaluation

    Students also receive a comprehensive written evaluation which addresses their overall academic and personal progress, areas of high achievement, and media recognition. This is an opportunity to address design skill progress more fully and communicate a more personal narrative of student experience.




  • Are you interested in Partnering with us?

    NuVu provides a model that allows for schools to quickly and effectively plug into the program as a resource for their students to develop essential 21-st century skills, and for their teachers and educators to learn how to incorporate these skills into their classrooms and school. Immersed full-time from 9am-3pm, Monday through Friday, for three to six months at NuVu, students have an opportunity to delve into global issues and connect with experts (Coaches) in various fields and each other in an environment that fosters a holistic design approach. In the Studio, students synthesize innovative thinking, core subjects, skills, technology and entrepreneurship. After having gone through an intensive and enriching creative experience at NuVu, students return to their schools and life with the creative confidence to bring their ideas and skills to their continued learning. Please send partnership inquiries to nuvu@nuvustudio.org.

    Our Partners

    Founding Partner

    Beaver Country Day School
    791 Hammond Street
    Chestnut Hill, MA, USA
    We started NuVu because of our partnership with Beaver. They have been great supporters and collaborators on this ambitious project. Through our partnership, Beaver sends 20 students every Term to NuVu.

    US Partners

    Phoenix Charter Academy
    59 Nichols Street
    Chelsea, MA, USA
    Phoenix sends 10 students a year to NuVu.

    All Saints’ Academy
    5001 State Road 540
    West Winter Haven, FL 33880
    We run different programs in collaboration with All Saints.

    Inly School
    46 Watch Hill Drive
    Scituate, MA 02066

    Cambridge Rindge & Latin Public High School
    459 Broadway
    Cambridge, MA 02138
    We are piloting a Semester-long program for students at CRLS.

    The Cambridge School of Weston
    45 Georgian Road
    Weston, MA 02493
    We have a Cooperative Enrollment Program in partnership with CSW.

    Overseas Partners

    Idiom Design and Consulting
    Joseph Chemmanur Hall
    Indiranagar 1st stage 1st cross, Bangalore - 560 038
    NuVu partnered with Idiom Design and Consulting Firm to host the NuVu-Bangalore Studio in their design studio.

    American School of Bombay
    BKC Road
    Mumbai, MH, India
    We run several studio programs (Studio 6 and Summer Intersession) and summits (TRAI) during the year at ASB.