by Lilian Asperin Clyman
Hackathons provide an energizing and alternative method to discover, unleash, and create through proximity, design thinking, and technology. It’s what happens when you incubate passion with talent and suspend fear. It’s a mash-up for risk-taking that leads to transformational results.
Time is a fascinating influence in Hackathons. Perhaps an irony we are nostalgic about is that more time equates to better results. Discard that – we are not looking for perfection, we are looking for bold innovation. Ask "Why Not?” five times in a row to identify the core of your disruptive idea.
I have always believed that those who are meant to meet find each other in due time. Hackers find themselves gravitating towards other folks who share a passion or something (or approach) you have been pondering for a while. At Equity by Design we seek data that informs our activism. We are looking to form affinity groups of people who resonate with a finding from our survey and have a yearning to influence different outcomes.
For the AIA EQxD Hackathon, you will have homework but other than that, all you are required to do is come refreshed and ready for a solid day. In borrowing the modern concept within Higher Education, we will introduce you to key data from our Survey and brief summaries from the content sessions we organized for our Symposium via the Flipped Classroom model. It’s a packet of information for self study, which will serve as the foundation you need to be prepared to work with a team. In this packet you will find a summary of the Goals, Format, Organization for the Hackathon, Survey Data, a graphic depicting “Life of an Architect” - a visual narrative of a sample professional journey, a range of topics ripe for “hacking”, and a helpful set of guidelines for crafting an effective and engaging message to depict your proposal.
Time Will Fly
It’s ok to anticipate a little chaos. Suspend wanting to know what and when and linger longer in why and how with your teammates. These are the ingredients of your first exercise: Diverge and Converge. Leverage the diversity of your group to consider the points of view of your audience. The most transformational hacks will get at the root of a real need. Go for quantity of ideas, then Deliberate and Discard. Adopt the mindset of why your idea matters and get ready to “sell” it. Develop and Clarify. Many great ideas die at the vine because they are not communicated well or succinctly. Be strategic in how you design your presentation.
There will be a Winner
You will have 5 minutes to make an impression to invited jurors during Happy Hour. In anticipation of this milestone for the day, we are sharing the criteria for evaluation. Think of this as your pitch to venture capitalists - people who can help you realize your idea. Please keep these in mind as you read the Flipped Classroom packet, engage in the Hackathon, and present.
User Experience: human-centered insight 5 points
Impact: innovation; relevance and impact on profession 5 points
Metrics: plan for action, deployment and evaluation 5 points
Pitch: quality and uniqueness of message/creativity 5 points
Diverse voices are needed to shape the future of our profession. Hope you can join us; we need to hack more!
Don't forget to register for AIA Convention by April 15th to get the advanced convention admission pricing. If you are a student, emerging professional or young architect interested in attending the Hackathon and Happy Hour, submit for the Scholarships donated by our EQxD Hackathon Workshop Sponsors: McCarthy Builders, WRNS, and Autodesk by 4/20.
Next Blog: Meet the Jurors!