The hackathon format: an analysis of its possible interpretations under a service design perspective

Amalia De Götzen, Luca Simeone, Begum Becermen, Nicola Morelli, Joanna Saad-Sulonen

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In the last decade, many different participatory spaces emerged in the cities’ ecosystems, from makers/hackers spaces to hack-labs, actively contributing to the creation of Public Innovation Spaces (Manzini & Staszowski, 2013) and increasingly adopting design enabled innovation in different forms, to produce new solutions to emerging problems (Anonymous for reviewing). Among the different participatory activities in such places, hackathons have emerged as a format to gather participants and jointly work on issues of common interest, or even to propose the design of new services. The format of the hackathon has changed over time, from spontaneous and self-organized gatherings up to structured and professionally organized corporate sponsored events. This paper intends to explore this phenomenon by reflecting over the experience of the authors as participants or organizers of 5 hackathons that took place between 2011 and 2017. The paper will analyse the way in which these hackathons were prepared and run and how their different formats affected both the selection of participants and the outcomes of the hackathons. Related issues such as self-organization vs. top-driven governance will also be investigated to propose some considerations on the creative serendipity one would expect from such events.
TitelNordDesign 2020
Publikationsdatoaug. 2020
StatusUdgivet - aug. 2020

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