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School: NuVu: The Innovation School

City/State: Cambridge, MA

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

Format(s): Visual arts

Subject(s): Health and Wellness, Visual Arts

Project Overview

In collaboration with renowned choreographer Heidi Latsky, students designed wearables for an installation for performers with a disability and which express aspects of the performer’s passion or character trait, or an experience they have had. This installation uses fashion as a tool of social justice aiming to celebrate the beauty of difference.

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

  • A wonderful model of empowering students to make a difference through STEAM
  • Exemplary model of students listening to a “client”, using critique and descriptive feedback to refine a product to a level of high quality
  • This project validates fashion as more than merely a means of personal expression as it elevates fashion design as a tool for social justice
  • Beautiful example of iteration in the design process as evidenced by thorough documentation
  • Excellent reflective summaries in student voice that capture the transformative power of this process

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