#Hack the #Book Festival

The Europeana Space project is exploring different ways of reusing digital cultural heritage by running pilots in six thematic areas (TV, Photography, Dance, Games, Open and Hybrid Publishing and Museums).  From 22-24 January 2016, the Open and Hybrid Publishing Pilot is organising the Hack the Book Festival in Athens, Greece, inviting designers, artists, publishers, programmers, authors, poets, hackers and entrepreneurs to redefine the book as an evolving, visual and open medium.


Books are increasingly “re-invented”, moving to a hybrid, ‎phygital (physical + digital) phase. The Open and Hybrid Publishing pilot has for example created Photomediations: An Open Book, in which a coffee-table book is redesigned as an online experience to produce a creative resource that explores the dynamic relationship between photography and other media, using open content from various online repositories such as Europeana, Wikipedia Commons and Flickr Commons. In this way, the book showcases the possibility of the creative reuse of image-based digital resources.

The Hack the Book festival challenges users to create their own publications, finding the technical and legal limitations and learning to use data sources in order to create inspiring and innovative open-access books. The festival will include workshops, talks and a 2-day hackathon that will focus on creating a phygital book from scratch using the infrastructure offered by Europeana Space by remixing and building upon Europeana content. Participants are invited to rethink the book by working on four different dimensions / challenges. Each team participating in Hackathon’s final stage is asked to address each and every one of these dimensions:

  • #BookDesign: What kind of an object is the book? How do the physical object and its digital extensions merge into a new hybrid? What sort of aesthetic experience do we want to invoke to the user/reader? How could we use smart materials in order to construct a hybrid phygital object?
  • #OpenHardware: How can you address the object-environment interaction through your design? How can you use Arduino or RasberryPi to its full potential so as to make the book part of an interactive network of objects  that provide the user with a coherent operation experience?
  • #API: How can you connect the object or the cluster of objects that you have created to open data and Europeana’s content? How can you implement the application programming interfaces (APIs) and the programming tools provided by Europeana?
  • #Entrepreneurship and #sustainability: Which is the business model that best supports your prototype? How can you secure your prototype’s sustainability? Which is the social and financial value that could be derived from your prototype? How does your proposal contribute to the expansion of the commons (especially the digital commons)?

The event will take place at the Onassis Cultural Centre in Athens, Greece from 22-24 January 2016 and is open to people from different backgrounds such as design, content curation, book art, creative programming and business modelling. On the day before the hackathon, a series of inspiring talks and workshops will take place, focusing on creating value via new publishing models, especially for educational purposes. Among the key topics that will be discussed are educational demonstrators, the eSpace MOOC, innovative practices as well as business modeling through open content.

More information on the event, as well as the registration process, is available from and the hackathon website at


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