Hackers, Vitra, Autodesk and Adobe Come Together This Weekend

Sheila Kim Sheila Kim

Most people wouldn’t associate hackers with artists, but given the way technology has infiltrated — and innovated — just about every creative sphere, such an association doesn’t seem far-fetched after all. That’s where Hacking Arts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) comes in. Now in its fourth year, the festival consists of a conference, Hackathon and tech expo, all of which kick off tomorrow at the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and draw professionals and students of the design, VR/AR, visual and performing arts, fashion, film and gaming industries. But perhaps stealing the spotlight in this year’s program will be iconic Swiss furniture brand Vitra.

Paying homage to some of the tech giants who started out in a garage, Vitra will be sponsoring, furnishing and installing a garage-inspired environment that will serve as a backdrop for the 24-hour Hackathon portion, co-sponsored by software companies Autodesk and Adobe. Vitra’s own Hack system furniture, designed by Konstantin Grcic, will anchor the space with its edgy OSB panels that can be user-reconfigured in a variety of ways (in other words, hacked. Get it?). Grcic’s quirky and sculptural Stool-Tool will also furnish the garage and invite sitters to try out different postures. Mingling with these will be Vitra’s Allstar (Grcic); HAL Studio Chair, Superfold Table and Cork Stools (Jasper Morrison); and Artek E60 Stool (Alvar Aalto).

© Eduardo Perez

© Eduardo Perez

Hack by Konstantin Grcic (Stoptrick) from Vitra on Vimeo

The Hackathon event itself will challenge interdisciplinary teams of more than 300 students and professionals to design, build and present to a panel of judges a furniture landscape that facilitates connectivity and creativity. In addition to the Hackathon, the festival will feature its tech expo and conference showcasing the intersection of the arts and technology.

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