NuVu Studio: A Non-Traditional Approach To Learning About Homelessness

Spare Change News

Last January NuVu Studio in Central Square set out to teach their students empathy and compassion for the homeless.

When they were done, the students had designed a vending machine that distributes scarves, a kenetic energy device that charges iPhones, and a new sign for Harvard Square’s Y2Y shelter.

NuVu Studio is a full-time innovation school for middle- and high-school students, ranging from ages 11 to 19 years. The school opened its doors to students in March 2010 and is based on an architectural studio model in which creativity is fostered through collaborative projects, Adam Steinberg, dean of students at NuVu Studio, said.

In the past few years, Rosa Weinberg, idea engineer at NuVu Studio, along with Steinberg, have run studios related to issues of homelessness. The studio hosted in October 2014 was called “Easing the Street,” Weinberg said. The most recent one in January 2016 was called “Inhabiting the Street.”

Weinberg said that the idea to conduct a homelessness studio was born out of conversations with Arida and Dr. Avik Chatterjee from Boston Healthcare for the Homeless. Dr. Chatterjee connected NuVu Studio to Pine Street Inn, a local homeless shelter in Boston with which NuVu Studio collaborated to run the studios. According to Steinberg, one of the main aims of the homelessness studio was to teach empathy and compassion.

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