Last year was the inaugural Urban Prototyping (UP) Festival, which is a Gray Area Foundation for the Arts initiative. What exactly is urban prototyping? Easy. Watch the video. Not satisfied or don’t have much time to watch the video? Okay, I’ll try to offer a simple, straightforward answer. Urban Prototyping entails gathering artists, technologists, makers, or anyone interested in creating something useful, fun, and engaging for city dwellers as well as visitors and re-imagining the urban environment. From a heart-shaped device capturing your heartbeat and turning it into a musical composition to a street planter using bio filters (yes, urine in this case) to re-purpose waste material, Urban Prototyping re-envisions urban space, landscape, and experience.
Seventy two hours overlooking the San Francisco cityscape in a mansion atop Twin Peaks sounds like a pretty nice getaway, doesn’t it? For the artists and creative professionals last weekend at The Glint it wasn’t very much time to create a mobile application for the 2012 ZERO1 Biennial. But the groups pulled through with some amazing ideas and a network of new friends and potential colleagues. Hackflux participant, web developer, Anna Billstrom, remarked that it was,
“…nice being in a personal space. From the very beginning, from the first pitch, I talked honestly about what inspires me and even when ideas did not make sense, people went along with the them”.
Nika Jones, Cloud Computing and Web Developer shared a similar sentiment,
“I had the chance to collaborate with back-end designers, artists, and developers. It was an interesting space. It helped to bring out a lot of creativity and ideas. The people I’ve met here are people I would want to stay in touch with.”
Danielle Siembieda, ZERO1’s Community Engagement Manager, opened up the final day of the hackathon by introducing jury members and extending gratitude to The Glint co-founders, Alexandros Pagidas and Damian Madray, who were also jurors for the weekend’s event.
As ZERO1’s inaugural hackathon, the team gathered for a weekend of creative thinking and coding in the hopes of creating an application that could be implemented as a useable product for the ZERO1 2012 Biennial. In addition, the application is slated to be open source for other teams interested in creating their own iteration of the winning app. Cultivation of ideas and allowing other to build off of what has been created are only a few elements that help make hackathons successful. With open source coding, these apps and products are developed, reworked, and possibly cast into another format all together. For HackFlux, the jurors were looking for the following criteria:
- Viability – Is it feasible to create the App with the resources provided? Can it be sustained and maintained?
- Concept – What is the strength of the idea? Is it creative? Innovative?
- Does it meet the scope of the App and beyond?
The jury consisted of the following individuals:
- Joel Slayton, ZERO1 Executive Director
- Alexandros Pagidas, Co-founder of The Glint
- Damian Madray, Co-founder of The Glint and The Madray
- Dan Zeitman, Film Fest, Creator of Frameline Festival mobile application
- Michael Shiloh, Educator, works with the community, DorkBot SF
- Greg Gopman, Founder of Angel Hack
- Rajiv Patel, Principal at Lift Projects
The tech advisory committee consisted of the following individuals:
- Brendan Wypich
- Dan Zeitman
- Doniece Sandoval
- Greg Gopman
- Michael Shiloh
- Myles Weissleder, SF New Tech
- Rajiv Patel
- Sarah Nahm
- Sian Morson
Team Visitor Information App (VIA): DC Spensley and Nika Jones
Spensley and Jones proposed an application that included three modes: scheduling, event, and mapping. The development of this particular app was based on the previous biennial. The idea was to have the end user experience the biennial with the convenience of planning and mapping out the experience they want! Ideally, the small events screen would take the user to event options with information pulled from the ZERO1 website. A “Share” option would be built so people are able to connect prior to an event. The map suite would be based on iOS mapping but work in conjunction with android and Google Maps. Parking availability pops up and the “Stars” signify where you have been. The user testing has been estimated at 90 days and would require receiving a ‘tickle’ via SMS or audio (for the visually impaired).
Team Parque Art: Romy Ilano, Athena Chow, and Timothy Evans
The Parque Art team presented a product feature to work in conjunction with another fully developed app. Essentially, the team envisioned (re)making the journey to biennial events as a basis for their work. They started their presentation with the idea that “parking is never a pleasant experience” and team member, Romy Ilano noted during the introduction, “Disneyland cleverly turns the trip from the parking lot to the entrance into a wonderful adventure (i.e., tram ride, fairy, etc.)”, which was the impetus for creating the Parque Art app feature. Since attendees spend approximately 10-15 minutes between their car or public transportation and the final destination, Parque Art, ideally, would help ‘set the tone’ for the overall biennial experience. The app would include soundscapes, simple mp3 audio (i.e., audio art, spoken word poetry, music, etc.) of participating biennial artists. Geo-location through a mobile web API would be embedded into the primary mobile website.
Team ZERO1 IN: Allison Holt and Lisa Benham
The ZERO1 IN team developed an idea that is a location based app/module that could serve as the foundation for a fully developed app. The ZERO1 IN app would include an interactive festival map and guide along with a “Printed Map” for individuals that do not have a smartphone but want to participate in the gaming experience. Overall, the app is an interactive scavenger hunt. The three levels of complexity included: 1) Feeling Clever, 2) Middle Path, 3) Where am I? The breakdown of level is listed below:
- Feeling Clever: Ability to choose a language to explore the biennial (64 language via Google translate)! Very few dots and cryptic clues leading to artworks and exhibitions.
- Middle Path: Less ‘dots’ on middle path (UNLESS you unlock), technologically, the experience would rely on human cleverness!! Artist’s text and cryptic photograph included on this level.
- Where am I? Complete guide and details to the biennial! No guesswork!!
With enough development time, the team was hoping to develop features that would allow users to filter artists (i.e., music, LED-based, visual, etc.), take pictures, and create a mosaic of the biennial experience.
THE WINNING TEAM
Team REACTOR – The Reaction Trader: Anna Billstrom, Kelsey Innis, and Helen Mair
The Reaction Trader app idea by Anna Billstrom, Kelsey Innis, and Helen Mair would allow users to react to artworks with geo-location as a way to connect with other users. The app would allow crowdsourced reactions to artworks through drawing, speech, or texting. With every reaction, the user will receive two anonymous comments in return of the same artwork, which serves as an incentive to truly engage and interact with other biennial goers! The team stated there would be notifications based on location, log-ins to other social networking sites (i.e., Facebook, Four Square, etc.), and the ability to rate and flag reactions. The higher rating a comment receives, that comment would be placed into a public gallery for all users to see!! With the gamification of comments, the Reaction Trader is definitely a promising tool to promote interactivity. One of the impressive aspects of the Reactor Team’s weekend was an actual working demo to showcase on the final day! In the future, visualizations of reactions may be built into a living map of the biennial!! As the winning idea, the REACTOR team will work with the Core Team towards the development and launch (September 2012) of the application to approximately 100,000 end users! ZERO1 will market and be accessible beyond Biennial dates to work with the winning team!
ABOUT THE ZERO1 APP LAB
The objective is to create a seamless visitor experience through mobile technology for the 2012 ZERO1 Biennial. This year’s theme is “Seeking Silicon Valley”. Our goal is to create a collaborative social science experiment exploring how an app can create community, interaction, and navigation in a clear and interesting format. We plan to utilize a variety of techniques and practitioners that will include, but is not limited to: alternate reality, geo location and mapping, mobile technology, storytelling, and augmented reality. Secondly, we plan to develop a ZERO1 API that can be built upon and used by ZERO1 artists, fellows and used for future ZERO1 Marketing, Programming and Garage.
Check out photos from HackFlux on Flickr here
Originally posted to ZERO1 blog, please click here
The past couple of weeks have been a great introduction into Processing. Processing is the programming language developed by Ben Fry and Casey Reas. Being the complete novice, it has been quite the experience. What’s even more exciting than learning a new language is seeing designers, artists, engineers, architects, educators, and so many different creative minds (some with very little to no programming experience – I fall into this category) learn the language and create interactive works that will astonish you. Going through the Processing exhibition page, I had to share my latest discovery – Mud Tub! Please click on the image above to see how this artist and his team utilize open source programming for this phenomenal experiment in human and computer interaction