Future Repair Machine

This hackathon invites participants from the fields of technology, design and the arts, to investigates the concept of ‘repair’ as a sustainable and innovative tool.

32 hour Hackathon
Date: August 26 & 27, 2023
Hosted by Stadslab Eindhoven & United Cowboys / Eindhoven

Register free here Eventbrite link


This hackathon invites participants from the fields of technology, design and the arts, to investigate the concept of ‘repair’ as a sustainable and innovative tool in a cultural-social environment of their choice. On August 26 & 27 the studio of Stadslab Eindhoven becomes a think- and makers-tank for change.

What intrigues artists, scientists and citizens in 2023 are questions all around climate change, a changing use of resources, societal inequalities.

How can we make the present sustainable for next generations? How can we give value to ‘repair’ in relation to: shared public space, urban environments, language, atmosphere, technology, clothing, food and our bodies as our physical presence? How can we display respect and appreciation for the things around us? How can ‘repair’ become a powerful creative and economic force?

“Repair is the process by which a damaged object is restored to a state in which it can fulfil its intended function, but the Latin origin of the word reparare not only means restoring and repairing, but also renewing a higher innovative power, because unlike recycling, it can not take things back to the starting point, but can continue to evolve.
It is a sustainable concept that values the things that surround us, and from which strong creative and economic forces can originate from. Repairing is a skill that can enhance independence.“
– Gerfried Stocker, REPAIR, Sind wir noch zu retten (translated from German)

Let’s radically rethink matters and move towards a sustainable future. Let’s create new things from old ones, utilise our collective creatively, use what already exists and let’s do it now! Explore, build and hack together with fellow engineers, designers, artists, entrepreneurs, professionals, students.
Free drinks, lunches and a nutritious dinner will be provided.

The three best concepts emerging from this hackathon will be awarded a money prize and will be incorporated into a living monument exposition in the frame of the Dutch Design Week 2023.

‘Repair’ Challenges

1️⃣ Society & Inequality: Address gender equality, housing rights, and inclusivity in rapidly urbanizing cities.

2️⃣ Planet & Resource: Tackle climate change and waste management issues to create a sustainable future.

3️⃣ Innovation & Technology: Harness innovation for positive urban transformation.

4️⃣ Economy & Politics: Redefine governance and accountability for efficient public services.

1 Society & Inequality

At present, rapid urbanization is challenging both national and local governments in their role to develop compact, inclusive, connected and integrated cities. In this process of fast urbanization, failure to fully mainstream gender equality into urban planning, legislation and economic development is hindering the inclusiveness of cities and preventing the full integration of women and girls in the economic, social, political and cultural life of cities.
The human rights dimension relates to the availability, accessibility, acceptability, adaptability, quality and appropriateness of the rights to adequate housing, safe drinking water and hygiene and medical resources.

2 Planet & Resource

In the coming decades, hundreds of millions of people are likely to be affected by rising sea levels, increased precipitation, inland floods, more frequent and stronger cyclones and storms, and periods of more extreme heat and cold.
While poor solid waste collection and management causes air and water pollution, as well as marine litter and contributes to climate change, a sustainable integrated solid waste management system can actually create opportunities. These include for example green jobs, renewable energies and becoming more self-sufficient by closing the loop for relevant resources. How can societies protect themselves, maintain continuity through all shocks and stresses, while positively adapting and transforming toward sustainability?

3 Innovation & Technology

Societies need an integrated, dynamic and nuanced understanding of innovation in order to develop imaginative, effective solutions to the biggest challenges. When applied in the right context, innovation can act as a catalyst for change, deliver impacts at scale, put people at the center and build a better future for all. Many societies around the world, both in developed and developing contexts, continue to face key challenges related to housing, livelihood generation, climate vulnerabilities, basic service provision and the delivery of essential community infrastructure. Harnessing and accelerating the opportunities that knowledge, science and technology and human capital provide across all dimensions of the urban sphere will play a key role for change.

4 Economy & Politics & Governance

Most countries, also suffer from ill-defined distribution of responsibilities between different levels of governments, leading to the duplication of roles and gaps which can lead to institutional wars. The net effect being that common citizens suffer from poor public service delivery and they end up procuring these services from informal, expensive yet unsafe channels. These ineffective multilevel governance arrangements also compromise planning processes, risk backlogs in budget spending, lead to higher transaction costs and create wider economic inefficiencies, as well as compromising the principles of transparency and accountability.
Governance refers to the structures and processes that are designed to ensure accountability, transparency, responsiveness, rule of law, stability, equity and inclusiveness, empowerment, and broad-based participation.
(Source: https://unhabitat.org/)

5 Wild Card

Bonus points can be collected if:
The team can argue that the concept/product leaves no (or minimum) ecological footprint.

Cash Prizes

1st prize: € 750

2nd prize: € 500

3rd prize: € 250

Goodie bags for all!

At the start of the Hackathon challenges and pitches are presented live. Any participant may pitch their own idea or challenge within the theme ‘Future Repair’.


Saturday, August 26

10:00 Introduction theme and challenges
11:00 Concepts & team clustering
12:00 Preliminary hacking
13:00 Project pitches / lunch
14:00 Continued hacking
16:00 Lightning talk
18:00 Dinner, drink, prolonged hacking, sleep

Sunday, August 27

10:00 final hacking
13:00 Eat, drink, last minute hacking
15:00 1 minute pitch on camera
15:59 stop hacking
16:00 Prototype presentations PITCHES!!
17:00 Jury verdict. Prize ceremony & drinks


The jury will consist of the following experts:

Astrid Cats (Director of the Temporary Art Centre TAC, Eindhoven)
Wessel Verrijt (Independent Artist, Eindhoven)
Maarten van Der Put (Artistic Director of United Cowboys, Eindhoven)
Michelle Lai (Independent Artist, Plant Fiction, Eindhoven)

Register here for free

Eventbrite link

The hackathon is hosted in English.
More information and contact: info@madlab.nl

Useful links

for inspiration:






for research:

World Cities Report 2022: https://unhabitat.org/wcr/

Global Urban Lectures: https://unhabitat.org/knowledge/global-urban-lectures

Research & Publications: https://unhabitat.org/knowledge/research-and-publications

Urban Agenda Platform: https://www.urbanagendaplatform.org/learningUrban

Agenda Resources: https://www.urbanagendaplatform.org/resources

Regional Reports: https://www.urbanagendaplatform.org/Regional-reports

Sustainable Development Goals: