DCU and Intel’s STEAM hackathon celebrates intersection of arts and tech

25 Oct 2017

The overall winners, D-Art space. From left: Ruairí McLoughlin, Bartlumiej Baran, Cloe Salmerón, Alex Hunter, Akhil Voorakkara, Conor Lanigan, Samuel Schilling, Matthew Bond, Lye Oygunsanya. Image: DCU

DCU students came together for an exciting STEAM hackathon, powered by Intel Ireland.

Beginning on Friday 20 October, Dublin City University (DCU) students from a diverse range of disciplines joined forces for a weekend of ideas, innovation and creativity.

The 72-hour marathon brought together creatives, entrepreneurs, developers and student innovators to build new products using Intel technology.

Creativity and technology in harmony

As it was a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) hackathon, participants were encouraged to explore their creative sides as well as their STEM skillsets to blend the arts with exciting Intel tech.

The aim of the weekend was to show students the possibilities that materialise where technology and the arts connect, and see what could be achieved when critical thinking is applied in a creative space.

D-Art Space was crowned the overall winner. The team created a digital art space using Intel technology, and, with its ‘interactive paintbrush’ prototype, demonstrated how people could use the space to express themselves in both public or corporate spaces such as parks, office lobbies, children’s hospitals and waiting rooms.

There was no shortage of brilliant ideas at the event, from Alarm IQ, which was awarded Best User Experience for an alarm clock that leverages your data to give you your preferred wake-up experience; to Hunger’s Hope, which won Best Use of Technology for developing an app to tackle hunger by redistributing food wastage; and GPLights, which walked away with Best New Experience for its device to help cyclists navigate without using phone maps.

Multidisciplinary thinking is key to STEAM success

DCU president Prof Brian MacCraith congratulated the teams: “It is wonderful to see the level of diversity within the teams and that you have come together in terms of cultures, ethnicity and disciplines, with all DCU five faculties strongly represented here today.

Eamonn Sinnott, Intel Ireland general manager and vice-president of its technology manufacturing group, added: “The world around us is changing at an almost unbelievable pace, and with that change comes challenges that are unlike any we have faced before.

“What is becoming clear is that the solutions to these challenges will require us to be more creative in how we think about solving them, and to apply solutions that are increasingly multidisciplinary.”

Sinnott described the hackathon as “one of the most exciting and effective ways to bring creative and diverse thinking to life”, and said it was fantastic to see the students “produce real, functioning solutions and prototypes over just a weekend”.

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects