2-6 July 2018 in Lisbon



Emergence hackathon brought together scientists, techies, artists, and others, to collaboratively create digital media based projects that communicate complex concepts in scientific research.

In this intensive 5 day-long event participants were immersed in a collaborative setting where they were guided through the process of exploring various digital media technologies (e.g. Film, Interactive Technologies, VR) with a focus on creating stories for both linear and experiential formats. Throughout the event each team was assigned a mentor, who took the producer role of the team, ensuring that each team was well on track and assisting with any resources needed.

All credits of the work belong to the teams.


Science takes time

Science takes time logo

#cienciadatrabalho aims to create a movement of investigative vandalism, based on the simple concept that science takes time (literal translation : science is hard work), that combines the practical approach and powerful language of street art and the collaborative potential of an online digital platform. Ultimately it is a methodology that allows any scientist in the world to communicate a complicated scientific concept in a way that is both intriguing and appealing, in very simple steps : engaging with people on the street through the usage of street-art intervention, telling an engaging story (real or fictional) about the research, and finally disclosing the scientific facts. The ultimate objective of #cienciadatrabalho is to enable a way for science communication to go down to the street level and engage with people in a novel, unseen and potentially efficient way.

Science takes time photo

Science takes time photo

Science takes time mockup


  • Mentor: Pedro Ângelo
  • Scientist: Anna Olsson
  • Storyteller: Natália Melo
  • Vandal: Felipe Fernandes
  • Coder: Christian Marques

Emergence Neuronio

Emergence Neuronio logo

Debuting it’s first interactive art installation titled “Battle of the Sexes” at the Pavilhão do Conhecimento Ciência Viva, Emergence Neuronio is a digital media project that seeks to gamify complex neurobiology for young adults. Through the guise of a familiar gameshow format, Emergence Neuronio engages audiences with rich statistical and experimental data—taking players deeper into the science with every layer of the game. In its debut installation, Emergence Neuronio sought to combat common misconceptions of differences between men and women by looking at the neurobiological determinants of topics like: addiction, substance abuse, charitable giving, and risky behavior.

Emergence Neuronio is comprised by an international team of researchers and creatives from various different disciplines. Their independent areas of research include: Neuroeconomics, Ecology, Science Communication, Journalism, Computer Sciences, Digital Media, and Quantum Physics. Together, they seek to communicate complex science through visual content. This project was established at the 2018 Emergence Hackathon in Lisbon, Portugal.

Emergence Neuronio photo

Emergence Neuronio mockup


  • Mentor: João Antunes
  • Scientist: Ewa Miendlarzewska
  • Creative Coder & Visual Artist: Rodrigo Carvalho
  • Storyteller & Designer: Ryan Wallace
  • BlackBox: Teresa Mendes


Invisible logo

We created an interactive installation that aims to show that the electromagnetic spectrum comprises several types of radiation with different wavelengths and that visible corresponds to a very small fraction of this spectrum. Astronomers use different types of telescopes to observe astronomical objects in different wavelengths, which enables them to collect a large amount of information.

By navigating the electromagnetic spectrum, the participants will see images of the sun, a nebula and a galaxy in different wavelengths. As they move along the spectrum, the participants will also experience sound effects generated using the frequencies corresponding to the different types of radiation. This creates an immersive experience that aims to engage the public and transmit abstract concepts in a tangible and interactive way.

Invisible photo

Invisible photo

Invisible mockup


  • Mentor: João Beira
  • Scientist: Diana Lousa
  • Industrial Designer: Tiago Rorke
  • Artist: Bruna Chirstófaro
  • BlackBox: Maria Corrêa Mendes

Dark side of the light

Dark side of the light logo

Since life has emerged, most of the biological world adapted itself to the natural cycles of day/night responsible for the body regulation and the functioning of ecosystems. With the excessive and inefficient use of artificial lighting, we prolonged the day by excessive light at night.

What is the problem of turning off the darkness?
We lose the starry sky that always served as guidance to humans and animals, even in regions that would otherwise be free of light pollution. However, light at night may also lead to several health problems prevalent in our modern societies, such as insomnia, depression, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and breast cancer, probably due to the decreased production of melatonin.

Any light can interfere with melatonin production, but the spectrum blue component causes the strongest inhibition. Unfortunately, this blue light is the primary element of the LEDs which are spreading in our homes, streets, and buildings. The purpose of our communication project is to raise awareness about the increasing light pollution which may have negative effects on our health. We created an interactive video installation with a skylight pollution scale, an introductory poster, and a take-home message printed on postcards.

Dark side of the light photo

Dark side of the light mockup


  • Mentor: António Bezerra
  • Scientists: Bruno Pinto e Paula Boaventura
  • Storytellers: Bruno Pinto e Paula Boaventura
  • Designers: Ana Figueiras e António Bezerra
  • Motion Graphics: Pedro Wilde



João Beira

João Beira

João Beira is a visual artist and art director that explores the intersection between light and interactive media. He is the founder and creative director of Datagrama, a collective of international artist-coders that create immersive environments and perform live visuals featured by artists such as Tipper, Thievery Corporation, Sphongle, Emika and Quixotic. As a creative director, he has worked with clients such as National Geographic, Scion and Vimeo. He has a P.hD by the University of Texas, Austin, and he is currently teaching at the University of Porto (FEUP).

João Antunes

João Antunes

João Antunes is a Product Designer, with work that spans design and software engineering, focused on human-computer interaction. He's currently building information processing products, having received funding from Google DNI. Team member of Journalism++ and Teacher in a Master's Degree in Digital Design. In the past worked as a Researcher at Fraunhofer Portugal and as a Designer at Postcrossing. Regularly helps to organize events/projects related to Open Data in Portugal.

Ana Figueiras

Ana Figueiras

Ana Figueiras has a Ph.D. in Digital Media from Universidade NOVA de Lisboa and does research on storytelling in Information Visualization. She is focused on finding the best techniques to incorporate narrative elements in visualizations. Currently, she is studying how to evaluate visualizations, having in mind not only user performance but also user experience metrics such as fun, engagement, and memorability. She is also a visiting lecturer at FCSH / NOVA and a researcher at iNOVA Media Lab.

António Bezerra

António Bezerra

António Bezerra is an Art Director who has driven the creative direction at Absolut, Central de Comunicação, McCann Erikson, e BAR. He took a management role at Clube de Criativos de Portugal, featured as jury at several creativity festivals, and swooped both national and internationally advertising awards. Taking advantage of his multidisciplinarity he has juggled with distinct areas of communication. Passionate about art and science, in addition to his work as a designer, he also develops New Media Art projects.

Pedro Ângelo

Pedro Ângelo

Pedro Ângelo is an independent research consultant for creative projects, an invited assistant lecturer at the Fine Arts Faculty of the University of Lisbon and a PhD student in Digital Media in the context of the UTAustin|Portugal program. His practice combines research, agile development, open technology, creative coding, interaction design, hardware prototyping and digital fabrication, to help bring creative visions into reality.


Fátima São Simão

Fátima São Simão

Fátima São Simão (Porto, 1981) is the development director of UPTEC — Science and Technology Park of the University of Porto and the executive manager of Future Places — medialab for citizenship, as well as the public coordinator of Creative Commons Portugal. Fátima currently attends the PhD program in Art and Design of the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Porto where she studies the effects of copyright in the creation of economic and symbolic value in the cultural and creative sector.

Jorge Coelho

Jorge Coelho

Creative Director at BarOgilvy advertising agency, he has written several articles for Marketing and Advertising magazines on topics related to the field, and regularly participates in conferences and seminars on communication. Since 2004 he teaches Relational Marketing and Activation, Creativity and Storytelling, Brand Identity & Communication and Advertising at various schools and universities. He held a board position at CCP, and was jury at several advertising awards such as Eurobest, Fiap, El Ojo, Caples, NY Festival and others. He holds awards from Cannes, NY Festival, ADCE, LIAA, Caples, DMA Echo.

Ryan Wallace

Ryan Wallace

Ryan Wallace is a researcher at the University of Texas’ School of Journalism. His career as a biologist led him to work as a science journalist, and his passion for communicating science has inspired him to transition into social science research. With a multidisciplinary background, his research interests focus on how science is portrayed in news media, and ways in which researchers and journalists can better work together to convey science to the general public. As a science journalist and editor he has worked with: The Latin Post, The Science Times, and Archaic Press Magazine.

Daniel Pinheiro

Daniel Pinheiro

Performer and visual artist, with a background in Theatre, has been exploring, among others, the concept of Telematic Art, using video as a tool and the internet as a platform, merging both languages into a single object of expression. In this field he aims at reflecting on the impact of technology of everyday life and the environment of the Internet as a reflection a world where the abstract nature of this transmedia movement changes the notions of space, presence, privacy and identity.


Gustavo Magalhães

Gustavo Magalhães

Gustavo Magalhães is a consultant and researcher in data acceleration with 10+ years of international experience in digital media projects. Skilled in project management, open data, and internet technologies, he designs and implements transformative strategies. He holds an MSc degree in Physics from Imperial College of London, and a PhD in Digital Media by the University of Porto as part of the UT Austin|Portugal program.

Tiago Gama Rocha

Tiago Gama Rocha

Professionally I've had many careers during the last 15 years (filmmaking, documentaries, communication strategist). I've also collected grants and honours (best Iberian youth talent 2006, Master's merit grant and Ph.D research grant) and founded my share of collective projects (e.g. muarts.tech, openfield-creativelab.com). Currently I'm lucky enough to work on the advertising sector. I have an young communication agency where I spent most of my day on coming up with content strategies that serve our client's needs.



  • What is a Hackathon?

    A Hackathon is a sprint like event where people get together to create a product in a short amount of time. In a truly collaborative setting, hackathons explore new tools and methods of story creation and community building.

  • What is the goal of Emergence Hackathon?

    Science can appear inaccessible and complex to non-scientists, whereas art can seem unachievable and daunting to scientists. This course aims to bring together scientists, techies, artists, and others, to collaboratively create digital media based projects that communicate complex concepts in scientific research.

  • How does a Emergence Hackathon work?

    The course is organized in two main parts: talks and exercises (days 1-2), and hands-on collaborative work (days 3-5).
    The first part of the course consists of talks and exercises (emphasizing project development toolkits, templates, and hands-on skill training) covering the building blocks of digital media science communication production.
    The second part of the course consists exclusively of practical collaborative work with the goal of producing a digital media based project that effectively communicates the scientific/technologic concept chosen by the team.

  • What is the Final Event about?

    On the last evening of the event (July 6) there will be a free public showing of the projects at Pavilhão do Conhecimento from 7:30pm to 9:30pm. Everyone is welcome!

  • Where is the Emergence Hackathon located?

    The hackathon will take place at Faculty of Social and Human Sciences of Universidade Nova. Address: Avenida de Berna, 26-C, Lisboa.



  • Do I need to pay to attend?

    Even a nominal amount is better at getting committed people into events. For this reason, there’s a €50 fee for those selected to participate.

  • Do I need to bring anything?

    In order to explore the most out of the array of digital media technologies currently available, participants are expected to bring their own equipment (e.g. film camera, VR hardware, laptops, arduinos, raspberry pi, sensor technologies, BCIs) for the production of the digital media piece to be submitted. We'll provide as much as we can.
    Usually we try to introduce team members to each other a few weeks prior to the event so that you can discuss and prepare.

  • How long is it? Do I have to stay there for the entire Hackathon?

    5 days. Once confirmed as a participant you are required to attend the whole event.

  • Will I be fed?

    Yes. We provide meals, coffee and snacks during the event.