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Humans of Cambridge

School: NuVu: The Innovation School

City/State: Cambridge, MA

Grade(s): 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Format(s): Video, Visual & Narrative Arts, Photography

Subject(s): Social Studies, Visual Arts

Project Overview

Nuvu students in the Cinemagraph studio learned how to create their own cinemagraphs—digital photos that include a subtle and looped movement. This unique media format is particularly captivating in a world oversaturated by photos and videos, as cinemagraphs can draw a viewer’s attention to aspects of an image they might not have otherwise noticed.

Special Note: In order to see the cinemagraph please click directly on each slide. 

Micaela Piece, Sophia Friedfertig and Ivan Carroll decided to create twelve cinemagraphs of quotidian local scenes, such as a woman sitting on a bench rifling through a plastic bag.

After capturing many moments, students learned what made for the best cinemagraphs and came to appreciate the ways in which this medium “can capture the beauty of a picture and video and put them into one.” Their final pieces communicate the spirit of Cambridge’s Central Square in a novel way.

At NuVu, an innovation school in Cambridge, MA, middle and high school students learn in an open and flexible space that is more akin to an architecture studio than a classroom. Some students attend NuVu for a two week intensive and for others it is their full-time high school.

Instead of one-hour classes and separate subjects, students engage in solving a problem through multi-disciplinary learning, all day, for two weeks. Groups of twelve students collaborate on the creative process, with expert guidance from two coaches who have expertise in a related field. Throughout the process students conduct precedent research, engage in brainstorming, render drafts of their ideas, create prototypes and write and reflect on their findings and processes. Their work is captured in a portfolio along with documentation of the final products they debut at the end of each studio session. These portfolios are publically viewable on NuVu’s website

How This Project Can Be Useful

  • Beautiful example of students using a unique media format to create art in and about their own community
  • Excellent example of a compelling product which represents various perspectives
  • High-quality example of students drafting, assessing, revising, and collaborating with peers to create an important product
  • Successful use of outside experts to guide students work
  • Compelling field work to engage and motivate students

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