Hack the Book Festival!


by Greg Markus (NISV)

On January 22-24 the Europeana Space Project held their third hack event, the Hack the Book Festival. The event was organized and hosted by the Onassis Cultural Centre (OCC) in Athens in coordination with the Open and Hybrid Publishing pilot “Photomediations“.

Books are about to be “re-invented” moving to a hybrid, ‎phygital phase. The event challenged users to create their own publications, finding the technical and legal limitations and learning to use cultural heritage data sources to create inspiring and innovative open-access books.

By every standard, the hackathon was a success. The OCC received over 300 applications. Through a series of questions and assessment 10 select teams were chosen to participate.



The event, which took place in the basement of the OCC building, was a developer/tinkerer/creative’s dreamland. There was a “genius bar” featuring eSpace project partners Postscriptum and NTUA, work stations with soldering irons, crafts supplies, and it seemed like every team had access to at least Raspberry Pi and Arduino.

The event started off on Friday night with inspiring talks from stalwarts like Chris Mead, Gary Hall, and Joanna Zylinska and REMIX’s Simon Cronshaw who is head of business modeling and incubation for the E-Space project.

During the two full days of hacking participants were incredibly busy building their new products. The energy was high and the windowless basement with intense mood lighting made everyone down there lose track of time and place. It was for intents and purposes its own secluded universe.

It was a mad dash for teams to finish not only their products but also perfect their pitches. Pitches are an extremely important aspect of the Europeana Space hackathons. They inform the judges on several key aspects most importantly being “who’s going to use this?”. E-Space’s goals are to create jobs and deliver 6 sustainable products by the end of the project.

With that said, after a long deliberation process the jury decided upon 3 winners who will move onto the eE-Space Business Modelling Workshop in London out of which 1 winner will be chosen for incubation.

Without further ado, the winners of the Europeana Space Hack the Book Festival are:

  • SinkAFutre
  • Vivlio
  • CookLee

Each project is extremely different from the other and all projects presented at the hackathon showed a wide swath of diversity amongst the participants’ thinking. This perfectly shows the possibilities in store for the written word and text.
We look forward to exploring how the three projects during the next Business Modeling Workshop in London.


 Read about the event also on OCC website.


Leave a Reply

Related Articles

Hack The Book Festival: Celebrating the future of the book and cultural heritage
by Thodoris Chiotis, OCC. The Hack The Book Festival was held on January 22-24 2016 at the Onassis Culture Centre in Athens and it was a roaring success.  The Festival was twofold: it comprised of an educational workshop held under the auspices of the Europeana Space project which took place on the morning and afternoon of 22nd of January; the titular hackathon of the Festival was inaugurated with talks by Joanna Zylinska, Gary Hall and Chris Meade on the evening of the 22nd and unfolded thro...
The ART // GAMES // HACKATHON  was an intensive weekend workshop, which will allow artists, coders and technologists to collaborate, team up and develop prototypes of game art projects.  This exciting event took place at Game City in Nottingham - home of the National Videogame Arcade on 16th and 17th April 2016. The ART // GAMES // HACKATHON  is part of Europeana Space, a large EU-funded project, which examines the creative reuse of online content across a range of media and art forms. This ...
E-Space Photography Hackathon in Leuven, a great success!
by Fred Truyen, KU Leuven. The Photography hackathon "Hack your Photo Heritage" took place on 25-27 February 2016, hosted at the FabLab of KU Leuven in Heverlee (Belgium). People attending were students, developers, cultural heritage professionals, photography people. Some teams came already with some ideas, but many individual attendees were still looking who they might join. The first day 25 February was an inspiring session with many international speakers; the Technical C...
Photomediations: a symposium and book launch
The Open and Hybrid Publishing pilot of Europeana Space have the pleasure to announce the publication of a book that arises from our work. Photomediations: A Reader (Open Humanities Press, 2016), edited by Kamila Kuc and Joanna Zylinska. We're holding a symposium to celebrate the launch of the book and to discuss the activities of the pilot:  come and join us for a half-day event exploring the relationship between photography and other media, and celebrating the launch of the open access ...