About

 
  • 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.

    FAQ

    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

  • sandy_transcript.jpg 

    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.


    Feedback

    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

    Transcripts 

    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

    Methodologies

    • 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.

 
  • Founder and Chief Excitement Officer, PhD, Design and Computation, MIT

    Saeed Arida is the Founder and Chief Excitement Officer of NuVu Studio. Prior to NuVu, Saeed worked as an architect and designer. He received his PhD in architecture from Massachusetts Institute of Technology where his doctoral research examined the intricacies of the creative process to understand what creativity is and how an educational environment can nurture creative learning. The architectural studio pedagogy informed this research that ultimately evolved into NuVu Studio. For the past few years, Saeed has been advising many schools on how to transition into a creative curriculum. 

  • Chief Creative Officer, SMArchS, Urban Design, MIT

    Saba Ghole is an architectural/urban designer and strategist. She received her Masters in Urban Design at MIT. Her multidisciplinary explorations in painting, photography, interactive art, film, architecture and urban planning have shaped her holistic understanding of design and creative education. Her urban design experience has included innovative educational projects such as the Central Los Angeles High School #9 (a school of visual and performing arts in downtown Los Angeles) while working at Coop Himmelb(l)au, and the National Research Foundation’s CREATE project (a Campus for Research Excellence And Technological Enterprise in Singapore) and the Princess Nora Bint Abdulrahman University in Riyadh (the world’s largest center of higher learning for women) while working at leading architecture firm Perkins+Will. Saba is passionate about creating interactive art, and through her art collective that formed in 2014 (Hamsa Collective) designed and built Pulse and Bloom - one of the largest biofeedback installations of its kind. Saba is also an INK Fellow and TEDxSanJoseCA speaker.

  • Chief Technology Officer, PhD, Artificial Intelligence, Aerospace Engineering, MIT

    David Wang is an engineer and computer scientist. His PhD at MIT focused on planning for autonomous systems. For his master's degree, he studied techniques for improving software reliability. He holds SBs in Aeronautics & Astronautics and Electrical Engineering & Computer Science from MIT. His work experience includes JPL, Draper Laboratory, Northrop Grumman, Pratt & Whitney, Boeing, and DARPA. At MIT, he taught a variety of courses, notably as an organizer for the 6.270 Autonomous Robot Design Competition for three years and as Head TA for the 1.00 Introduction to Computers and Engineering Problem Solving course for two years.

  • Chief Academic Officer, MArch, MIT;  Registered Architect

    Andrew Todd Marcus is an educator and architect living and working in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He earned a BA in English Literature and Biology from Oberlin College (1997) an M.Arch from MIT (2004). He was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to Barcelona, Spain where he studied traditional Catalan masonry and has worked as a researcher at Gaudi’s Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia.  Andrew maintains a small architecture practice and worked professionally for nine years, focusing on humanistic green design and he has collaborated with many design firms including Behnish Architekten, Reverse Architecture, and Höweler + Yoon Architecture. He teaches architectural design at the Wentworth Institute of Technology and Northeastern University and has served as a critic for many architecture programs.  Andrew has lectured on architecture and the value of liberal arts education at schools such as Oberlin College and Eureka College and his interactive artwork has been exhibited in various galleries including MassMoca.

  • Dean of Students, Director of Product Development

    Adam is an award-winning songwriter, guitarist and producer with a diverse professional background in music creation, recording and technology.  He has worked at a senior level in product development and sound design, from whiteboard to mass production, for music tech giants Kurzweil and Fishman (products used by U2, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Elton John, CSNY, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Pink Floyd, Weird Al Yankovich, Billy Joel, plus more.)  His songwriting, multi-instrumentalism, and production can be heard on records, and in films and television; including Dixie Chicks, Patty Griffin, The Guiding Light, The Young and Restless, Alias, Party of Five, Dawson’s Creek, plus many others. Adam has been coaching with NuVu since the very first year: storytelling, songwriting, making music from brainwaves and food, and beyond. 
     

  • Art Director

    Amro Arida is NuVu’s Art Director. Amro was trained as a graphic designer, and has applied his skill to animation, illustration and filmmaking. His fluency in visual expression guides him in his exploration of these seemingly separate genres. He is not only NuVu's resident graphics designer, he also coaches studios on film and animation. Amro has taught studios on filmmaking, animation and fashion.

  • Idea Engineer, M.Arch, Yale, Registered Architect

    Rosa Weinberg is an architect and an artist. She received her BSc. from the London School of Economics (2003) and an M.Arch from Yale University (2009). Rosa was a teaching fellow at Yale before working professionally as an architect for five years. She has also taught design studios at the BAC (Boston Architectural College). At NuVu, Rosa combines her love of teaching the architectural design process with her interests in fashion, industrial design and social justice. She maintains a studio space at Artisan's Asylum where she creates urban installations and piñatas.

  • Director of Operations

    Karen Sutton brings over 25 years of work experience to NuVu and her new position as Director of Operations. Prior to joining the NuVu team, Karen worked in the department of Student Development at the BAC (Boston Architectural College) as well as spent over 15 years working in the student international travel industry. At NuVu, Karen combines her love of education with her skill in program, project and organizational management. She is a committed member of the Brookline High School PTO, with two children attending the school. Karen has traveled extensively with her husband and family. She is passionate about exposure to new and different cultures, food, and environments.

  • Karen Brennan, Assistant Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education
    Peter Hutton, Head of School, Beaver Country Day
    Eric Ingersoll, Founder, General Compression
    John Ochsendorf, Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Architecture, MIT
    Tony Wagner, Expert In Residence, Harvard University's Innovation Lab

 

 

 
  • 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.

 
  • We have a rolling admissions system that allows students to enroll in our school throughout the year. Students can enroll in NuVu for a trimester, semester or full year. There are a few separate routes through which students can enroll:

    1. Enrollment via NuVu
    2. Enrollment via Partner Schools
    3. Enrollment via Non-Partner Schools

     

    1. Enrollment via NuVu

    Enrollment During the Academic Year

    Students can enroll at NuVu for a trimester, semester, or full year. If a student is home-schooled or would like to enroll in NuVu for a year or more, our team works with the student's family to create a larger learning plan for the student. In such cases, students usually complement their time at NuVu by taking supplemental online and offline courses after studio hours. At the conclusion of their time at NuVu, students receive a studio transcript that highlights the skills gained while at NuVu, an online portfolio, and a written evaluation.

    Who Can Enroll and How

    NuVu students are as young as 11 years old and as old as 17 years old. Admission is based on an on-site interview followed by a basic application showing intent to enroll in the program. It is appreciated but not required that applicants send samples of their projects (computer, engineering, music or art-related) to NuVu before scheduling an interview. These samples can be anything from essays to photos to videos of projects.

    How to Schedule an Interview

    Kindly send an email to nuvu@nuvustudio.org or call us at 617-945-7716 to schedule an interview.

    Enrollment During the Summer

    NuVu offers a six-week long Summer Program. Students can enroll for one Session (2 weeks), two Sessions (4 weeks), or three Sessions (6 weeks). For more information on the program and how to register, please check out our Summer page. 

     

    2. Enrollment via Partner Schools

    NuVu has a number of partner schools whereby students enrolled in those schools can participate in NuVu full-time for a trimester or semester. After the NuVu trimester or semester ends, students receive elective credit for their time at NuVu and return to their home school for the start of the new trimester or semester. Listed below are our partner schools and the enrollment option offered (trimester, semester, etc.). At the conclusion of their time at NuVu, students receive a studio transcript that highlights the skills gained while at NuVu, an online portfolio, and a written evaluation, all of which are sent to the student's home school.

    Beaver Country Day School

    Program Offering: Trimester at NuVu

    You can find more info on the BCDS-NuVu page.

    The Cambridge School of Weston

    Program Offering: Mod at NuVu

    Current CSW students can spend a Mod at NuVu during the academic year.

    Program Offering: Cooperative Enrollment Program

    NuVu has partnered with the Cambridge School of Weston (CSW) to create a Cooperative Enrollment Program for students (in middle or high school) seeking to blend their NuVu studio-based experience with CSW's unique high school experience. 

    The Cooperative Enrollment Program is particularly intended for:

    • Students who have done 7th and or 8th grade at NuVu and are looking to enter a high school.
    • Students who have done a combination of NuVu and home schooling who would be entering CSW as 9th or 10th graders.
    • Students who are interested in planning an effective way to divide their time between NuVu and CSW throughout their high school years

    Phoenix Charter Academy

    Program Offering: Trimester at NuVu

    Cambridge Rindge & Latin Public High School

    Program Offering: Semester at NuVu

    You can find more info on the CRLS-NuVu page.

    Noble and Greenough School

    Program Offering: Semester at NuVu

     

    3. Enrollment via Non-Partner Schools

    If you are a student who is enrolled in a non-partner school and would like to attend NuVu, please contact us at nuvu@nuvustudio.org directly. In such cases, we work with families and their home schools to create a more individualized plan for the student and a path for the student to re-enter their home school upon completion of NuVu. At the conclusion of their time at NuVu, students receive a studio transcript that highlights the skills gained while at NuVu, an online portfolio, and a written evaluation, all of which are sent to the student's home school.

    How to Learn More 

    If you are interested in learning more about any of these options, please send an email to nuvu@nuvustudio.org or call us at 617-945-7716.

  • Fall 2015

    Start and end dates: Wed Sep 2, 2015 - Fri Nov 13, 2015
    Application Deadline: Mon Aug 17, 2015

    Winter 2015-2016

    Start and End Dates: Mon Nov 30, 2015 - Fri Mar 4, 2016
    Application Deadline: Mon Nov 2, 2015

    Spring 2016

    Start and End Dates: Mon Mar 7, 2016 - Fri Jun 10, 2016
    Application Deadline: Mon Feb 22, 2016

 
  • NuVu 2015-2016 Dates

    Fall 2015

    Start and end dates: Wed Sep 2, 2015 - Fri Nov 20, 2015

    Genius Camp: Wed Sep 2, 2015 - Wed Sep 9, 2015

    Session 1: Mon Sep 10 - Fri Sep 25, 2015

    Session 2: Mon Sep 28 - Fri Oct 9, 2015

    Session 3: Tues Oct 13 - Fri Oct 23, 2015

    Session 4: Mon Oct 26 - Fri Nov 6, 2015

    Independent Project Period: Mon Nov 9 - Fri Nov 20, 2015

    Parents' Evening: Tue Oct 6, 2015

    End-of-term Demo Day: Wed Dec 2, 2015, 6-8pm

    Thanksgiving Break: Sat Nov 21, 2015 - Sun Nov 29, 2015

    Holidays: Mon Sep 7 (Labor Day), Mon Sep 14 (Rosh Hashanah), Wed Sep 23 (Yom Kippur), Mon Oct 12 (Columbus Day)

    Winter 2015-2016

    Start and end dates: Mon Nov 30, 2015 - Fri Mar 4, 2016

    Genius Camp: Mon Nov 30, 2015 - Fri Dec 4, 2015

    Session 1: Mon Dec 7 - Fri Dec 18, 2015

    Session 2: Mon Jan 4 - Fri Jan 22, 2016

    Session 3: Mon Jan 25 - Fri Feb 5, 2016

    Session 4: Mon Feb 8 - Fri Feb 19, 2016

    Independent Project Period: Tues Feb 22 - Fri Mar 4, 2016

    Parents' Evening: Wed Jan 13, 2016

    End-of-term Demo Day: Thu Mar 3, 2016, 6-8pm

    Winter Break: Sat Dec 19, 2015 - Sun Jan 3, 2016

    Holidays: Mon Jan 18, 2016 (MLK), Mon Feb 15, 2016 (Presidents’ Day)

    Application Deadline: Mon Nov 2, 2015

    Spring 2016

    Start and end dates: Mon Mar 7, 2016 - Fri Jun 10, 2016

    Genius Camp: Mon Mar 7 - Fri Mar 10, 2016

    Session 1: Mon Mar 28 - Fri Apr 8, 2016

    Session 2: Mon Apr 11 - Fri Apr 22, 2016

    Session 3: Mon Apr 25 - Fri May 6, 2016

    Session 4: Mon May 9 - Fri May 20, 2016

    Independent Project Period: Mon 23 - Jun 10, 2016

    Parents' Evening: Wed Apr 20, 2016

    Spring Break: Sat Mar 12, 2016 - Sun Mar 27, 2016

    End-of-term Demo Day: Thurs, Jun 9, 2016, 6-8pm

    Holidays: Mon Apr 18 (Patriot’s Day), Mon May 30 (Memorial Day)

    Application Deadline: Mon Feb 22, 2016

  • Summer 2016 

    Session I: July 11-22, 2016

    Session II: July 25- August 5, 2016

    Session III: August 8-19, 2016

    Registration starts: Mon Nov 2, 2015

    Application Deadline: Mon May 16, 2016