The disruptive environment behind Hacking Arts

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The disruptive environment behind Hacking Arts

IT WAS AMAZING! After almost a month of Hacking Arts at MIT I still hear this 3 words very often on the hallways, on social media and debrief meeting. Oh yeah, we are still working, making sure that all the knowledge, mistakes and good practices are not forgotten for the next year and that Hacking Arts 2017 gets even better than the 2016 edition.

As co-directors of Hacking Arts this year, Helen and I started working on February, recruiting our top team to help run the Conference, the Hackathon, the Logistic Operations, the Marketing Strategy and the Sponsorship outreach. The main ingredient here was passion. Passion in what you do and believing on the mission. All this people on the team were working because the love these areas and they wanted to make something good with their skills. All of them were volunteers working on this as part-time jobs and most having to juggle between work or studies besides Hacking Arts.

We were lucky enough to find over 40 of those amazing people willing to make Hacking Arts a huge and inspiring event. Besides the staff team, we had over 50 mentors, 5 judges, 40 panelists, 8 performing groups and 35 companies on the tech-expo coming from all over the world.

FLAGCX for example, flew all the way from Brazil bringing people, equipment and partners (Lobo, IBM and Unity) to create a "A Cognitive VR Experience".  Their installation on the Media Lab used a local multi-user environment combining body tracking, amazing VR environments, haptic feedback, custom 3D printed controllers and characters played by IBM Watson.

Autodesk was our first sponsor on board and besides the financial support they flew some of their top executives from San Francisco to Boston and helped to put up 3 workshops free and open to public to empower everybody before the hackathon on their Fusion 360 3d software. We had Adobe's marketing team to work with us on content and Vitra shipping super cool furniture both straight from Europe.

On the top of all this amazing companies and institution that believed in Hacking Arts, we worked hard on bringing people with really diverse background to the event. Over 40% of our speaker were female, and on the hackathon attendees this number goes up to 59%. Only 35% of hackers were from computer science or electrical engineer, the rest was divided in students from architecture, business, media and arts, music and even chemistry and biology. A diverse mix of people, cultures and background to make ideas collide and generate new solutions,  this is where the magic happens!

I know that Hacking Arts 2017 has a lot of potential to bring more and more creative folks and we are thinking on all the possibilities to make the event even bigger next year so if you are reading this but couldn’t make to this last edition or if you would like to share with your friends the panels of the conference you went we've partnership with Daisy.io to keep the content of all the 8 panels for free. You can watch it on your computer or smart device accessing the Hacking Arts page on the Daisy platform. Good ideas were meant to be shared and spreaded. You can start the chain reaction that involves art, tech to bring innovation and entrepreneurship.

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Autodesk Fusion 360 Hackathon Challenge: Revolutionize the Making Experience

Autodesk, one of Hacking Arts’ premier sponsors, challenged our hackers with a challenge to revolutionize the making experience.

Autodesk makes software for people who make things and in that spirit, they challenged the hackers to collaborate with their team and create something (design, 3d-printed object, or idea) with the Fusion 360 software. Fusion 360 is a cloud modeling software that is free for students.

“What does the future of making look like with teammates? The winner of this challenge will be the team that makes best use of the Fusion 360 platform.”

To help teams conquer this challenge, Autodesk provided many resources for the teams. On the night of the Hackathon, Autodesk provided a 2-hour workshop that taught students how to use their Autodesk Fusion 360 tool along with Shapeways 3D printing service to print out their designs. They also offered a more advanced workshop that focused on the Fusion 360 API, which allows for much more user-driven creativity.

Autodesk staffed the night and morning hours with multiple mentors to provide help to hackers and answer any of their Fusion 360 questions. Kumaran Chanthrakumar, of the Sounditure Hackathon team, described the Autodesk mentors and workshop presenters as “The best people ever” and that he “fell in love with Fusion 360 during the hackathon.”

We had seven teams compete for the Autodesk Challenge Prize. They all approached the challenge and Fusion 360 in very different ways.

About Face - Face swapping code + CAD to generate & share interactive personalized stories increasing emotional reaction & empathy

Fusion Magic - We bridge the gap between physical and digital art using fusion 360 and artistic robotic arms

Fusion Magic

Fusion Magic

MusicBubble - A tangible musical creation tool for the VR world. MusicBubble is a creative tool that makes music spatially tangible and allow an intuitive way to create music Reinventing ableton/garage band to become more interactive with your music becomes a more tangible immersive experience with similar flexibilities to tilt brush that allows the user to allows the user to focus on their craft Able to be more expressive

MusicBubble

MusicBubble

MuSyC – converting music from sounds to color

MuSyC

MuSyC

Sounditure by Overtones - We use song specific-data to shape furniture design.

Revive - A system that integrates virtual reality, tactile feedback, and music to learn Tai Chi

Two of the teams that participated in the Autodesk Branded Challenge also made the top 12 teams of the Overall Hackathon - Fusion Magic and Sounditure by Overtones.

After deliberation by the Autodesk team, Sounditure by Overtones took home the Autodesk Branded Challenge and the $2500 cash prize.

Members of the Sounditure team include:

•       Kumaran Chanthrakumar, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

•       Thomas Chardin, Berklee College of Music

•       Leyla Novini, Parsons School of Design

•       Jakub Florkiewicz, Harvard Business School

•       Alyssa Gerasimoff, Rhode Island School of Design

 

Hacking Arts had the opportunity to interview the winning team, Sounditure.

When asked about her hackathon experience, Leyla Novin responded “Wow, the whole experience!”  Kumaran Chanthrakumar had an interesting take on Music - “Music is where memories can be stored, because who doesn't associate certain songs with parts of their lives? Having a physical representation in the form of such a familiar item...really does bring a whole other level to music appreciation.” This helped bring the idea of Sounditure to life.

What’s Next for the Sounditure team? Leyla Novin stated that “we spoke with Autodesk after the awards ceremony and they were very interested in working with us to continue working on this application and eventually build a physical representation of our prototype through 3D printing.  We will be in touch with them!”

Thank you to all of the teams that participated in the Autodesk Challenge and congratulations to Sounditure!

Left to Right: Lucas Ewing (Autodesk), Brian Ekins (Autodesk), Jakub Florkiewicz (Sounditure), Alyssa Gerasimoff (Sounditure), Thomas Chardin (Sounditure), Kumaran Chanthrakumar (Sounditure), Leyla Novini (Sounditure), Mike Alcazaren (Autodesk), Jeremy Carter (Autodesk)

Left to Right: Lucas Ewing (Autodesk), Brian Ekins (Autodesk), Jakub Florkiewicz (Sounditure), Alyssa Gerasimoff (Sounditure), Thomas Chardin (Sounditure), Kumaran Chanthrakumar (Sounditure), Leyla Novini (Sounditure), Mike Alcazaren (Autodesk), Jeremy Carter (Autodesk)

 

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And the Winners Are...

Congratulations to Harmony Space for winning the Best All Around Hack at the Hacking Arts Hackathon this year! Harmony Space consisted of Max Harper, Matthew Seaton, and Evin Huggins. Harmony Space is a musical thinking tool that remaps our spatial sense to our auditory sense with the help of Hololens. Your position X (left,right), Y (up, down) and Z (forward, back) become pitch-shifting controllers of 3 separate musical notes that enables you to hear space and see harmony. Harmony Space will receive $2500 cash prize, $1000 Shapeways voucher and 2 weeks to use venue space at the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, presented by The Huntington Theatre. 

Congratulations to Team Revive for winning 2nd place, comprised of Paul Reamey, Tim Gallati, Luna Yuan, Jiabao Li, Qi Xiong, and Jingchen Gao. The team goes home with a $1000 cash prize and a $500 Shapeways voucher. They created a VR experience that guides the user through the moves of tai chi and also helps illustrate the abstract concept of chi. It provides tactile feedback on intentional movements and synthesizes cues from the real world environment to help with better concentration and to strengthen the effects of practice.

And walking away with a $500 cash prize and a $500 Shapeways voucher and 3rd place winner, möbel, made up of HackingArts veterans Kiran Wattamwar and Christina Sun. Möbel is social furniture designed to bring people together in public spaces. The furniture is intentionally annoying to construct and is built around the people who construct it. Only when at least two people work on it, does the furniture light up and activate. The chair is designed to also literally bring people together - when two people are enclosed in this furniture, they must face each other in a constrained space, exaggerating this experience and forcing people to literally break down barriers and build something from them together.

This year's Hacker's Choice award goes to Inkfinity for creating a VR poetic journey inside ink paintings. The members Lei Xia, Daisy Zhuo, Yaqin Huang, and Sharon Yan are taking home $1000 cash prize courtesy of the MIT Sloan Marketing Club. 

This year’s Hackathon also featured two branded challenges presented by Adobe and Autodesk. 

Adobe challenged teams to use Adobe XD Experience Design CC to create a unique app or website to make the world a better place. ART1ST did just that. Jenny Liu, Jenna Tishler, David Schurman, Ellen Jiang, and Gloria Feng are taking home $1,000 cash prize and each team member is getting a 12 month Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. 

Autodesk challenged teams to make something (design, 3d-printed object, or idea) with their Fusion 360 software. The winners of this challenge, Sounditure by Overtones, created a tool that utilizes recorded music data from the Spotify API to generate 3D furniture design in Autodesk Fusion 360, which can eventually be manufactured via 3D printing. Kumaran Chanthrakumar, Thomas Chardin, Leyla Novini, Jakub Florkiewicz, and Alyssa Gerasimoff won a $2500 cash prize. 

Congratulations to all the teams who participated this year! Check back soon for more details on our hackathon winners and videos from the entire weekend!

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Hack, vitra's approach to the office

"Designed by Konstantin Grcic, Hack is a table system that anticipates the requirements of companies and employees – a provocative solution which can be understood as a 'hack' of the office environment. Grcic counters traditional desks with an innovative functional and aesthetic approach that satisfies the demands of today's high-tech companies. Such companies need to offer young university graduates an attractive, practical and creative work environment while also being able to respond to dynamic changes in their office structures.

With its raw wooden panels, Hack presents an unfinished aesthetic at first glance, like a snapshot of an experimental project under development. The system reflects the attitude of companies that similarly define themselves in terms of constant change. Each Hack unit forms an autonomous element whose adaptability allows it to satisfy various needs: companies value Hack for its flexibility, since it can be folded up into a practical, flat 'box' in just a few simple steps. This makes Hack easy to dismantle and transport and enables space-saving storage. Individual users appreciate Hack's expansive work surface, as well as its provision of a private sphere that can be personalized. The height adjustment feature offers standing, sitting and lounge options and thus defines distinct niches for work, meetings and relaxation. Hack is not only functional and flexible, but is also fabricated in a manner that reflects the environmental priorities of young companies: thanks to its manually operated mechanism, the production and utilisation of Hack are ecologically sustainable. In addition, the tables are manufactured on site in an energy-efficient manner, with wooden parts that are locally produced and assembled by Vitra using prefabricated metal hardware.

The construction of Hack is robust and stripped down to the essentials. The solid hinges connecting the three wooden panels are precisely tooled metal parts that facilitate the clever folding function of Hack and simultaneously ensure its stability. The continuously variable height adjustment of the table top is manually operated with a recessed grip or a crank. Depending on the version, this feature makes it possible to adjust the table height within seconds from 300 to 1250 mm. In the lowest position, Hack can be outfitted with cushions for use as a sofa."

For a more in depth look at Hack, visit vitra.com/hack

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Hacking Arts invaded the Boston Museum of Fine Arts

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Hacking Arts invaded the Boston Museum of Fine Arts

Hacking Arts invaded the Boston Museum of Fine Arts cafeteria and erected an experimental Uncanny Cat Café. The night was joyful chaos. The Primordial Spoof was born, in the form of a #HeavyPettingZoo. Robotic cats lounged amongst hundreds of attendees, a siren’s call from the future. Art has 9 lives. #mfaMEOW.

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Featured panel: 'Play, Perform, Participate'

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Featured panel: 'Play, Perform, Participate'

Read more about our featured panel this week 'Play, Perform, Participate' from our panel lead, Jessica Scarpati, who is currently pursuing her M.A. in Media and Culture Studies at Utrecht University.

'Play, Perform, Participate' will take place at the MIT Media Lab at 9:45 AM on November 19, 2016.

Buy your tickets to the conference here.

Photo source: design-io.com

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