Unbroken Meaning


Unbroken Meaning is a project that investigates the ability of current speech-to-text algorithms to understand Caribbean Trinidad English Creole (TrinEC) and African Diaspora-derived Pidgin creole. It seeks to demonstrate the bias of these algorithms while developing new algorithms that are better suited to recognize phrases and languages of these communities. Additionally, it seeks to create suitable text-to-speech methods for proper computer pronunciation of these languages. Finally, Unbroken Meaning collects audio samples of phrases and speech patterns to serve as a method of archiving the vocabulary and grammar of selected communities. We were invited by the Library of Congress to showcase Unbroken Meaning at the Playtest conference. Playtest brought together a diverse group of thought leaders and creative technologists working at the intersection of virtual reality, emerging media, and humanities research.

Machine learning (ML) uses statistical techniques to give computer systems the ability to "learn" from data and thus improve performance on a specific task without being explicitly programmed. Though this field is growing exponentially and becoming ever more integrated with ubiquitous computing, there exists a lack of representation of diverse groups in the field. This lack of representation in the programing of ML algorithms, collection of datasets, and development of ML based products is deleterious and diminishes the potential positive social impact, efficacy, and economic impact of the field. This lack of diversity additionally has the potential to manifests itself in products and systems that are biased and dangerous to underrepresented groups by not fully taking them into account.

This project was created as part of C.T.R.L. [CULTURE, TECHNOLOGY, RESEARCH, LANGUAGE], a collaborative endeavor between Nikita Huggins, Ayodamola Tanimowo Okunseinde, and Nicole Lloyd. C.T.R.L. seeks to address bias in machine learning systems while creating tools and artworks that make machine learning environments more accessible. The collective not only produces and analyses alternate machine learning datasets, but also create related artworks that are meaningful and expressive. Some of the methodology implemented include identifying unique modes of communication internal to specific communities, analysis of language structures and syntax, the use of machine learning tools to attempt to pull meaning from text, and the creation of physically based works that promote diversity in the machine learning field. The collective aims also to teach machine learning tools and methods to underrepresented communities, develop related art & technology curricula, and to archive assets that may be utilized as research material.

broughtupsy UnbrokenMeaning Papeeshow Close Project

100 Days of Illustrator


Wanting to learn Adobe Illustrator, I dedicated 100 days to learn the tool. I followed the principle of 100 Days of Making, where 100 consecutive days are dedicated to iterative design practice – you identify a theme, idea or topic they would like to explore over the course of 100 consecutive days and commit to iterating on that idea every day. These creative drawings mostly tell a story about how I felt on that day, others were born out of a desire to master certain techniques, and some to explore colour theory.


This project can be found on Instagram @nikitahuggs

Close Project

Trini Talk

Trini Talk is an online platform designed to communicate and preserve the Trinidad English Creole Language. Using an interactive web platform, Trini Talk teaches the oral language of Trinidad through the island’s history, shows how the language is used and establishes a platform to preserve the language.


View my design process

I created this project because I wanted to learn about the history of the dialect of Trinidad and Tobago–especially the dialect of my island, Trinidad. While nationals are well versed in the language, most of us don’t know the etymology of the words that we choose to speak. I created this platform for the speaker of Trinidad English Creole (TrinEC). My overall desire is for nationals to connect with the country on a deeper level. All nationals regardless of background speak this dialect. It is part of our culture and something that unites us. Understanding that unity, I hope, will foster national pride and love of each other, thereby diminishing societal issues. Read more

Trini Talk was created as my thesis project at the Interactive Telecommunications Program ITP at NYU.

View the prototype of the Trini Talk platform

Close Project

The Engine Room

The Engine Room is a digital musical instrument. It was created for my New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME) project development class. I made this popup book midi-controller as I wanted to tell the story of Caribbean music. I am from the Caribbean so wanted to use this tool to communicate the story of my music and how the distinct rhythms come together to form soca.

  • A pop-up book with interactive drums that play when touched. Seven rhythms were created and mapped to the interface. The tempo of the composition was also controlled by tangible interaction.
  • Create a digital musical interface
  • Create a fully working prototype
  • Create a musical composition
  • Perform live
  • Max/Msp – Used to create beats for each song
  • Makey Makey – My microcontroller
  • Laventille Rhythm Section Indigisounds Library – A library of Trinidadian percussion instruments
  • Kontakt Player – Needed to transfer sound samples to Max/Msp
  • Copper tape
  • Conductive fabric
  • Skeleton of a large coffee table book
  • Wire
  • Paper
  • Adhesive
Close Project

Clockoo Bird

Throughout history, the main function of a timepiece was to simply tell time. Now the modern timepiece notifies us not only of the hour but when confronted with texts, emails, appointments, and a myriad of other alerts. ClockooBird imagines what life is like for the modern cuckoo bird, no longer on a set schedule but always required to be ready at a moment’s notice.

This interactive installation project was made for "Pop Up Windows Display" course at ITP in November 2016. The installation was displayed at the NYU Kimmel Center for three days.


View my design process

  • To create a two-window display that represented "Time"
  • CNC Fabrication (of the two professionally made cuckoo clocks)
  • Webcam (takes picture)
  • Javascript
  • Node.js
  • Twitter bot (posts pictures to twitter)
  • Physical Computing (control doors and clock gears)


  • Concept creation
  • Project Management
  • Fabrication
  • Physical Computing
  • Installation
  • Maintenance

See more at https://twitter.com/clockoobird

Created in collaboration with Kevin Stirnweis, Xinyao Wang and Shir David.

Close Project

Electric Relaxation

Electric Relaxation is a video installation. A Tribute to the musical genius of A Tribe Called Quest. An interface for fans to vibe with the music and be taken down memory lane.

A Tribe Called Quest had recently lost one of its members, Malik "Phife Dawg" Taylor. Phife was my sister's good friend, a brother. So I grieved with her. I shuffled through footage and listened to A Tribe Called Quest's songs. Every music video that I could find online took me flying down memory lane - back to the 90's. This project started out as my attempt to comfort a sibling but grew into a tribute to A Tribe Called Quest.

  • Max/Msp
  • Madmapper
  • Projector
  • Video
  • RFID reader
  • RFID tags
  • Record player
  • InDesign
  • Wooden record holder made with plywood
  • Dark wood stain
  • Wood panels on the sides of the record player
  • Wooden frame
  • Vinyl record (spray painted white)
  • The user picks a record
  • Places the record on the player
  • Starts playing the record
  • RFID tag attached to the record is read by the RFID reader
  • The song of the selected record plays on the headset
  • The corresponding music video is projected onto the framed record
Close Project

Eat Ugly

Ugly Food is misshapen or slightly bruised fruits and veggies. They usually get tossed, which results in enormous amounts of waste. To curb this practice, the Ugly Food Movement was developed to highlight the nutritious and affordable allure of less-than-perfect-looking fruits and vegetables. We assign human qualities to food (the right shape, the right size, the right look) not realizing the downfall of such behavior. Tasked with creating a project that can be used to address or solve an issue in the food system, I jumped at the opportunity to join the Ugly Food Movement.

Eat Ugly creates awareness of the ugly food epidemic. By informing folks in my immediate circle and community I aim to create a ripple effect. If people are aware and if they care - they can change their behaviors toward food waste, specifically where Ugly Food is concerned.

  • A platform to communicate information about the initiative
  • Interactive quiz
  • Screen printed t-shirts
  • Adobe After Effects
  • Adobe Premiere
  • Stop motion animation
  • Interlude platform
  • Ugly fruit and vegetables sourced from my coop's compost bin and from the farmer's market.

The Eat Ugly video was used as a tool to start the conversation about food waste and ugly foods. I chose to use ugly fruit and vegetables for my stop-motion animation as it draws the users attention to what I am speaking about. By seeing the misshapen and bruised food, they immediately identify with ugly food. I also created a quiz to test people's knowledge of the topic. This interactive video was compiled using the interlude platform.

Please take the quiz!

Close Project