Rethinking a Hackathon

This hackathon is part of a media museum’s experimental tech exhibit, making it radically different from other hackathons. 

We're talking about Open Codes - Living in Digital Worlds of the ZKM in Karlsruhe. It features a variety of cutting-edge toys and gadgets, from VR goggles to mind-blowing interactive digital art. The exhibit sheds light on the world of devs, designers and makers, making the tech community more accessible to the general public.

Even though daily life without technology is nowadays unthinkable for the vast majority of people, the background story – how it is created, who creates it, who can learn to create it - still has a tough entry barrier.

We wanted to help change that. To do so, we needed something new. We had to rethink our hackathon.

So we came up with a new approach: we make sure everyone, meaning techies as well as the general public, is welcome at the OpenCodes Hackathon. Museum visitors will see that the stereotypical computer scientist – a lanky man wearing glasses, sitting in a dark room with his hood up and speaking an average of two hundred words a day – does not do justice to the actual tech community. Visitors will be captured by the electrifying atmosphere of hackathons, nurtured by the competitor’s passion and driven by their innovation.

We want to show non-tech people what tech is really about. We want to fascinate them with tech. We want to inspire them to join our ranks as hackers.

Join us and be a part of this uncommon experiment.

© ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medien Karlsruhe, Volker Naumann
© ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medien Karlsruhe, Volker Naumann.
© ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medien Karlsruhe, Volker Naumann
© ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medien Karlsruhe, Volker Naumann.

For Literally Everyone

We want to motivate as many people as possible to join the hacking community. We want to organize an event where young hackers can work on their own pet projects, while experienced hackers can compete for prizes in ambitious categories.

We want to unite participants from all kinds of backgrounds. We want designers, organizers and artists to join the community of hackers and makers. We want people to pour all their creativity into their project in an inspiring environment.

About the ZKM

The hackathon is hosted at the ZKM in the Open Codes - Living in Digital Worlds exhibit. The ZKM is a small media museum that bridges the gap between art, technology and design with its regularly changing, one-of-a-kind exhibits. In its small niche, it has gained global attention. In fact the New York Times dubbed it as “an institution that has no exact parallel in the world and not even a recognizable echo in America."

It provides a unique atmosphere for working and getting inspired. A perfect place for a hackathon.

© ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medien Karlsruhe, Volker Naumann
© ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medien Karlsruhe, Volker Naumann.

Who are we?

We are Hack & Söhne, a German student-run nonprofit organization focused on coding and hacking. We try to bring a bit of Silicon Valley to the German computer-science and start-up community by disrupting the status quo. We do this by organizing hackathons, coding boot camps and other similar events.

Our team consists of students from a variety of backgrounds: computer science and electrical engineering, economics, business, and more.

And now a bit about talKIT

We do the doing, talKIT does the talking. talKIT is an amazing tech conference where people from all kinds of backgrounds come together to discuss one big topic. This year it's AI and cybersecurity, so get pumped!

TalKIT takes a look at this topic from many different angles, not just tech. It's a great experience and tons of fun. However, be aware that the entire talKIT conference is in German, while the hackathon is in English.

Furthermore, the winners of the hackathon are invited to join the talKIT conference and present their project. If you have questions about them, please hit them up at info@talkit.eu.

Who made the Design?

Have you wondered who is responsible for the awesome design concept for our website, posters and flyers? We did a little design competition and a team from the local design school won with their project called 'Brainbow' - originally a research project by Jeff Lichtman and Joshua Sanes.
The comprehensive design concept around it was crafted by Leonie Lude, Karla Kniep and Sven Krahl. Want to know more about the Brainbow and the team? Contact them at: kniep.krahl.lude-design@outlook.de.