OK. Why on earth are these messy papers blocking the beautiful sight of a Friday afternoon from the huge panoramas at the National Gallery of Denmark?
No, it is not another SMK-night.
Explanation is as simple as it is fun.
The lovely museum hosts a so-called “Hackathon” in with programmers, sofware developers, artists, designers, historians and journalists get together for 50 hours to pitch ideas and make them come as close to reality as possible before deadline. And since there are a lot of different skills working at the same project in groups, you can actually get pretty far during just one weekend.
But no Hackathon without loads of data to play with. That is why 8 cultural institutions had just 2 minutes each to present their data to the hackers before the big pitching of ideas.
- Det Danske Filminstitut
- Dansk Kulturarv/DR
- MMEx – Meaning Making Experience
- Det Kongelige Bibliotek
- Statens Arkiver
- Statens Museum for Kunst (the host, National Gallery of Denmark).
All of them had files, pictures, numbers, objects, calculations etc. etc. to join the show. So what do we make of that?
My group wanted to challenge the power of the curators. Why are they the only ones who decide what hangs on the wall of the gallery? Why not let the audience decide? And to spice things further up we adopted the idea from dating-app Tinder – like or dislike this painting with a swipe of your hand on your mobile. If you dislike, you will get other paintings to choose from within the same span. And in the end the gallery will put up the painting with most likes.
Who knows what that might bring forth of long lost treasures?
However, if you need to work with the Tinder-model you will have to get to know Tinder a little better. That explains why the designers in my group, Kristina and Peter suddenly got busy creating a profile on Tinder … on a late Friday night … with a beer at hand … We swear – it was RESEARCH!
A few hours later we came up with this app-prototype on paper. Taped professionally on a dashboard we decided to call it a night 🙂
Saturday and Sunday were much equally buzzing with hackers, trying to get their ideas into real life. Actually, the whole stage area next to the café looked like this:
During all this buzzing (and the POP-programme) our paper-sketches started looking like this:
But no hard work without a little self-spoiling as well. Our host has taken good care of us with great drinks and food during the weekend.
Note the acid green colour of the table in the café, compared to rest of the neutral/white surroundings. I never quite understood why …
I cannot believe the delicious food we had Saturday night. Thanks to the staff in the kitchen 🙂
Back to business at the Serious Sunday. It was time for all the 12 groups to present their final product – or at least as final as it gets.
My group finished the prototype of the “let the audience decide”-app. To make it completely ready for use it needs to be integrated with an iBeacon placed on selected paintings to connect with the audience’s smartphones. But the design looks fantastic already – with a little (BIG) help from my new designer-friends in the group.
This is what you may meet during a future visit at the National Gallery of Denmark:
(In Danish it will ask you if you like what you see on the wall).
And if you do not like it – have another pick. Here is what it looks like:
Nevertheless, it could not compete with the winners of the Hackathon. They have created an amazing technique to watch paintings through all the material layers by using your iPad:
That is why they deserve their award – a cookbook with as much Danish cultural heritage as the Price Brothers can manage. Look at their smiling faces 🙂
That was the wrap of my first Hack4dk. But I guess it will not be the last one. Once again, I am really impressed what a group of people can manage to build up during a weekend, as long as they make use of all skills in the group.
It was great fun 😀 And since I did not win an award for my effort I will at least wear my hacker-t-shirt from the goodie bag with pride until next year.
If you are one of my fellow hackers – take a trip down memory lane with the hack4dk-pictures on Flickr.