This project is part of the Coding da Vinci Hackathon and a seminar on 'collaboration as an attitude' under Arianna Ahlgrimm and Niels Elburg at HSD PBSA. Coding da Vinci is a german hackathon that joins the cultural sector with creative technology communities to explore the creative potential of our digital cultural heritage.
Over a seven-week sprint phase, our team has developed a project that restores the value of historical emergency funds through NFT art. Our concept foresees the generated profit continuously supporting nonprofits. The 'Stadtarchiv Rendsburg' and their representative Dr. Dagmar Hemmie supplied the dataset on emergency banknotes.
At the heart of our project lies a critical approach to speculative value and the current NFT boom. We want to spark a conversation about NFTs in the context of historical and present crises. Adversity drives speculation, but does speculation drive progress?
After the initial pitch phase, we formed a team and started to explore the possibilities of our project. During the kick-off weekend, we assessed the requirements the project had to fulfil, our strengths & assets, and our weaknesses & risks. We recognized the importance of staying true to the historical background of our dataset while creating something entirely new and exciting. In the next phase, we researched various NFT marketplaces and their appeal. A key takeaway was the significance of collectability and shareability.
Our teamwork consisted of asynchronous work with weekly project meetings during the sprint. Concurrently, we documented our progress for our teammates transparently on a Kanban Board.
My main focus on this project was the creation of 3D assets. After we agreed on a visual direction, I set up a workflow across multiple programs. To heighten the collectability of our artworks, we added a series number and branding on top of the initial historical design.
Our concept for the Web experience was a shared effort. Initially, we focused on the development of a user journey. When visiting the website, the user first encounters a quick overview of the critical benchmarks the project has hit. The user can access the about section at all times, which includes an explanatory video. The following section features in-depth information on the most frequent questions about the topic. This section is easily skippable. Following this, the user reaches our gallery. We highlight our artwork while giving historically accurate information about the individual pieces. Here, we allow the user to preview the original note and use the external link to purchase the artwork on the NFT marketplace.
While we had a lot of design experience on our team, we initially lacked a developer to realize our concept. Therefore we had to adapt our vision to our design heavy skillset. Linus joined the team late in the sprint, which eased the pressure on the developmental part of the project. While Phillip and I had made all conceptual decisions, we felt that this addition to the team was a huge benefit. With the additional time, we improved our presentation, textual content and visuals.
At the finals of the hackathon, the jury awarded our project the "best visualization" prize.
01 Collaboration in a virtual environment requires careful planning
02 Design is a team sport - pairing vastly improved our productivity
03 Never underestimate render times
© Annika Drießen 2022