In February of 2020, I got to participate in a hackathon for the Portland Winter Light Festival. This weekend-long festival happens annually in Portland – for which creative and technical institutions build brilliant, light-based outdoor art pieces & interactive installations – to entertain the public during the dreichest time of year.
A couple weeks before the festival, CETI facilitated a smaller event for individual creatives & engineers to team up and see what light-based work they could hack together before the main event, to be shown in an indoor venue.
I worked on a team of 4, which included another Mechanical Engineer, a Software Developer, and a UX & Graphic Designer. The Graphic Designer Proposed a kinematic, light-up sculpture, loosely based off of the Jaberwocky from Alice & Wonderland – so we ran with that concept, seeing how far we could go in about a week’s worth of work sessions.
Though the process was rushed and the outcome was a little rough around the edges, it was really fun to work, experiment, & play around on a low-stakes project with a team of folks I otherwise would not have met. I definitely plan to attend similar hackathons in the future.