Hackathons Happen Here
The majority of the projects you’ll find in the Studio Lab section of our website were developed during one of our “Hackathons”. These are two-day events where our team of designers, coders and managers team up to tackle in-house research projects. On a Thursday afternoon, we determine the projects and divide up roles and tasks. On Friday and Monday, we take each project as far as we can. Some ideas only reach the prototype stage, while other ideas end up ready for public consumption.
Where Do the Ideas Come From?
The ideas we execute are suggested by the staff. Everyone is encouraged to jot down ideas and pin them to the “Awesome idea of the Day” board at the back of the studio. Almost anything goes: money-making ideas, art-for-art’s-sake ideas, or public service ideas. People can also post problems that have no obvious solution. While our company has a deep technology focus, these ideas don’t have to. The goal is is to stretch people’s thinking, take everyone out of their comfort zone, and learn new skills together.
Hackathons Pay for Themselves
How does Art & Science justify taking time off of paid client work to realize projects like a talking fish? We see our Hackathons as an investment. We believe that two days of time spent in purely creative, wacky endeavours pays off in spades. By engaging in proofs of concept like these, we gain experience with emerging technologies, and then we’re able to draw from a broader range of solutions in our client work.
Our Hackathons also enhance the collaborative abilities of our team while cementing a culture of risk-taking and experimentation; a culture where failure is allowed. These are all key ingredients of innovation.
Beyond this, our team just really enjoys the Hackathons. They get to collaborate, and they get learn something new while learning more about each other’s skills. It’s team-building that avoids the corny feel of a scavenger hunt or the awkwardness of trust falls. And while it’s break from regular work, it’s play with a purpose. And everyone gets to contribute to something the world has never seen before.