Tools, Documentation, Presentation & Portfolio


Andrew Todd Marcus


Student Documentation is fundamental to NuVu’s Pedagogy as it creates a clear trace of the development of student projects and understanding of their own processes. Documentation helps students to internalize the iterative nature of the design process through self-awareness and reflection on their constantly refining their ideas and prototypes while receiving and synthesizing feedback from Coaches and experts.

Daily documentation (via blog posts on the NuVu Studio Management Platform) includes posting and labeling scans of sketches, posting of precedents, and photographs of current stages of design. Periodic summary posts require students to synthesize and document their progress through an analysis of their work culminating in a clear statement of your direction for the project. Students are encouraged to reflect on their own work and coach feedback, synthesize the feedback as it relates to their project, decide on a course of action, and make an updated iteration.

Interim and Final Documentation: Interim presentations and reviews offer the opportunity re-assess the overall concept by documenting the entire project, from conception through to the current state. Documentation material from throughout the process is a major source of content for the final student presentations and portfolio. 

The Brief

Each student writes a structured Project Brief that addresses the conceptual and technical aspects of their work. The Brief  is a strong narrative that ties together the Why, How and What of projects through clear, cogent writing. It tells the story of how your student’s idea are born, developed, and manifested.


The Final Presentation and Portfolio preparation is the culmination of student studio work and provides students the opportunity to present work to their coaches and peers.  

Coaches guide students through the development of the presentation is a narrative supported by the NuVu Presentation Guideline Document. Presentation preparation includes discussion and tutorials on graphic design, diagramming, and oral presentation skills. The Presentation is structured with Introduction, Process, and Final stages.  The Introduction sets up the scene for the project narrative and the the students introduce their project, say why it is important, and summarize their work. The Process tells the story of how the students iteratively developed their project, including conceptual and technical precedents that guided them at each stage as well as brainstorming and process sketches and clear photos of the process.  The Final stage of the Presentation is the resolution of the project narrative and shows completed work through diagrams and final images.  Presentations generally include a video demonstration of the project. 


The Portfolio serves as a durable record of student work publicly accessible to family, friends, colleges, the media, and everyone outside of NuVu. It encourages further synthesis through requiring students to present their design process succinctly in various modes — graphically, orally, and through writing.  It not only highlights student design solutions, telling a compelling story of their projects, but also is a illustrates student’s understanding of the critical design process. Final work consists of a written Brief, a Final Presentation/Portfolio Post, a Project Board, and the Final Presentation it self.