Digital meets Culture
Export date: Wed Jul 17 9:34:54 2024 / +0000 GMT

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.