All ideas that resulted from our ACT Labs events are published in our Ideabox under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike CC. This lets others remix, tweak, and build upon the work non-commercially, as long as they credit the authors and license their new creations under identical terms. Below you will find all ACT labs ideas (pink), ideas in motion (blue) and prototypes (purple).
Feel free to look through and get in touch with us!
Project Beat explores the ominous silence surrounding domestic violence. In light of recent UN Women data that the home is the most dangerous place for women, it poses uncomfortable questions regarding our failure as neighbors and citizens to intervene and provide support when we hear the sounds of abuse. The art project was made in collaboration with survivors of domestic violence and features a social experiment, an interactive installation, and a campaign website with stories, data and specific advice.
Team: Maksim Stoimenov (musician) and Peruna Keremidchieva (front-end developer)
The Dictator’s Board Game
Put yourself in the shoes of an authoritarian leader and learn about the tactics authoritarian governments use to attack the civic society. The goal of the game is to suppress, take over and shut down as many civic society institutions as possible. The players have limited resources (represented by cards) that they can use: defunding, use of police, harassment, intimidation, smear campaigns, replacing people in executive positions etc. All actions are based on real-world examples.
Team: Weronika Jurkiewicz (filmmaker) & Michal Szota (graphic designer)
The Whole Story
It’s a browser-based interactive fiction game that explores the civic aspects of our everyday decisions. With yes-or-no answers to simple questions the player navigates through different storylines, all of them modelled to highlight problems of shrinking civic space (restrictions of the right to protest, delegitimisation and demonisation of activists etc). By offering the ability to easily adapt the gameplay to any problem at hand, it constitutes a versatile tool that can be used as an educational tool in both institutional and informal education.
Team: Stefan Prohorov (playwright) & Vladimir Velikov (programmer)
Breathe It, Eat It
An installation visualising air pollution – “gourmet” dishes made with air pollutants are placed in an interactive transparent cube, equipped with a smoke machine, visualising the quality of air in different parts of the city.
Team: Stefan Valentinov (social tech entrepreneur) & Juliana Tekova (visual artist)
The project addresses the lack of awareness about fake news. It takes a human-centric and participatory approach, educating via a powerful analogy, humour and a large dose of surprise. A pop-up bakery teaches about fake news through beautiful, but horribly tasting cupcakes. The campaign brings people together in a mindful and innovative way. Furthermore, a platform provides tips on recognising fake news and recipes for hosting engaging events with family and friends.
Team: Ivan Shulev (front-end developer) & Iliyana Kancheva (digital artist)
In a society that is heavily polarised, the project aims to sensitise participants to people’s fears and personal stories. The project’s first phase consists of research among various communities. The insights will be used for an art installation, placed within a white room. Even before entering, you will hear a slight murmur of voices. Inside, from the right, you will find the confessions of people, influenced by populist propaganda, while from the left, you will hear the fears of progressives. As you move closer to one source, the murmuring sound will get clearer. Once you reach one of the walls, you (and only you) will be able to hear someone’s secret story.
Team: Anna Rubi (video artist) & Mate Nadasdi (engineer)
What Did I Do Wrong?
The project targets the parents of LGBT people. It stems from the insight that many parents often search for the phrase “what did I do wrong” in online searches when their child comes out as gay. What Did I do Wrong is a web platform (appearing above search results through smart SEO) featuring other parents’ stories of acceptance and love, as well as an immersive installation that reinforces the message – you did nothing wrong as there is nothing wrong.
Team: Boyan Chakandrakov (front-end developer) & Phelia Barouh (photographer)
The art campaign, which is to feature an interactive installation in public space and six short documentary films, aims to raise awareness about different families – religious, heteronormative, LGBTI, interracial etc. It will engage a variety of NGOs to work together with real families to curate and design a mannequin installation. People will able to interact with the mannequins however they wish - vandalize or show solidarity. Support will be registered through touch sensors within the hands of the mannequins that in turn illuminate the entire park in which the project will be exhibited. Each week, the family will have the opportunity to respond to the reactions to installations.
Team: Katerina Vaseva (developer/designer) and Martin Grahovski (visual storyteller)
77% of women under 40 in Bulgaria have been followed by a man or a group of men over the past year. 45% of women report that they do not feel safe when they walk alone at night. Grace is an app and volunteer-led phone service that makes you feel safer when you walk home alone.
Team: Borislava Karadzhova (illustrator) and Anton Stoychev (UX designer)
Fake news, real lives
The project is an art installation consisting of a smart mirror, whose aim is to raise awareness about the fake news phenomenon. The mirror, which looks like a regular upright mirror at first glance, will be placed in crowded public spaces (i.e. airports, universities, bus stations). It will have a built-in screen and a 3D camera for face recognition. When a person approaches the mirror, the face recognition system will generate a distorted image. In the next phase, articles in widely read newspapers will start to appear on the screen with the person’s picture. People will be able to experience first hand what it’s like to be the target of fake news articles.
Team: Anna Zsofia Kormos (fashion designer) & Gabriela Luhova (developer)
A photo app with image filters showing the various degrees of pollution of the air. Static filters will be developed in advance, based on the median values measured in various cities around the world (Sofia, Beijing, London, Kiev). Furthermore, dynamic filters, based on real-time geo location and air quality data acquisition, will graphically show the changing state of air pollution in a particular area.
Team: Vera Gotseva - Lomovera (photographer) & Ivan Sharlandzhiev (engineer)
AwARe is a series of murals concerning fake news and restrictions on the freedom of the press. Placed in central city locations across Europe, the murals, essentially large-scale art pieces will capture the attention of citizens. Then, augmented reality tools will enhance the experience. Upon seeing the mural, with the help of AR, you will be able to see beyond the physical layer. The experience will bring the mural to life to add additional visual layers, information and messages. AwARe is about opening up minds and raising questions around the authenticity of the news we consume.
Team: Robert Obert (urban artist) & Dragos Silion (AR/VR developer)
A sound installation consisting of voices of support, real messages of love recorded by parents of kids in pre-teen years of what they would say if their child ever came out as LGBT. The art installation also exists as an interactive website, a message in a bottle of sorts. It creates a generous, non-judgmental space, an emotional rehearsal for understanding that sexuality and gender are not a problem to be solved, but a situation that simply requires acceptance and ultimately, love.
Team: Sevda Semer (visual artist) & Yana Nikolova (UI designer)
Translate the Hate
А mobile solution that aims to sensitise local communities about hate speech graffiti and gives them an opportunity to counter it. The project uses image recognition technology supported by Google Cloud Solution to identify different symbols or text and adds a digital layer with Augmented Reality. Freedom of expression is one of our basic rights, but instead of using vandalism, we want to give the opportunity to all community members to subvert their environment in a creative and positive way. Our app also gathers Big Data to analyse the number, type, and location of hate speech graffiti, so that we can identify trends and changing behaviours in society and react accordingly in advance.
Team: Joanna Skorupska (technologist) & Vena Naskrecka (performance artist)
Women in Bulgaria are paid on average 14% less than men for equal work. In the EU women earn 86 cents for each euro a man gets at their level/position and with their qualifications. Sweet Revenge is an interactive installation that helps understand lack of equal pay and the reasons behind it. It consists of a vending machine placed in public space allowing for anyone to interact with the installation and learn about the campaign.
Team: Nikoleta Alexieva, (stage designer) and Yordan Stoyanov (product engineer)
Keep Your City Alive
What if we could display the pulse of your city or your society? Our idea is to place a device in a public square that records people’s heartbeats using a digital stethoscope. Combined, these sounds result in a strong and distinct common buzz, then visualised across the city. Monitored through an app, the visualisation will be projected inside a geodesic dome at the place of the recording. Should the people stop participating, the light will fade. The main target audience is young people, who are the group most disillusioned with politics and civil society. This installation aims to show them what can be achieved through small, recurring acts of participation and hopefully inspire them to further take part in civic causes.
Team: Alin Răuțoiu (programmer) & Bogdan Topîrceanu (visual artist)
Don’t be Newsless
An audio-visual installation, with an online component, demonstrating the lack of balance between useful information and entertaining distractions online. It is an attempt to raise awareness and sharpen the audience’s attention towards their own media diet, and to give tools and ideas about how not to be newsless.
Team: Vladislav Iliev (VJ/visual artist) & Dean Panayotov (software developer)
A fun, easy-to-use and anonymous platform to raise awareness about bad habits, inspire and encourage the community to be part of a collective solution for effective resource consumption. The app introduces bad habits as a resource – the same way we have to use waste as a resource and integrate it in into our everyday thinking. The feelings of empathy and self-observation are core for this project, and are awoken by offering the user to share bad habits and compare them locally and globally with other users.
Team: Evgeniya Syarova (robotics enthusiast) & Ivo Ivanov - YvesO (new media artist)
The project is an experimental installation that aims to raise awareness about the importance of voting. The participant navigates through a series of different levels of spaces and corridors. At each level, they must answer questions on laws connected to their personal environment in order to get through to the next level. At the end participants are prompted to answer whether they will vote in the upcoming elections.
Team: Ioana Turcan (filmmaker) & David Timis (technologist)
According to a study by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency, the highest percentage of physical or sexual violence cases over the past 12 months across all EU countries have been registered in Bulgaria (6%). This project develops smart fashion accessories that document scenes of violence, particularly domestic violence, necessary for police investigations.
Team: Sofia Hussein (fashion designer) and Todor Balabanov (developer)
Channeling the Goddess
Every 15 minutes a member of the LGBT community in Bulgaria is aggressed verbally, psychologically or physically. The Goddess is an interactive piece, connected to a web platform that reacts to movement and sound and reports abuse and hate crimes in real time. Like a glitch The Goddess appears in different points in town, and raises public awareness about the rate and intensity of hate crimes against the LGBT community.
Team: Voin de Voin (performance artist) & Kamen Dimitrov (interactive software developer)
The project is a 360-degree VR art installation, which starts off with you sitting on a couch in the year 1945 and leads you through time simulating the way information is consumed. You will see a typical living room with the informational mediums available at the time. If you look behind, you will see a white wall. Time will progress and mediums will change. At a certain moment, the participant will realise that the room is slowly being flooded with water. As the intensity of informational input increases so will the amount of water. It highlights how popular media drowns out important news on political, social or ecological issues. The purpose of the installation is to bring awareness to the way we approach and consume information.
Team: Georgi Tomov (installation artist) & Stefan Vartolomeev (developer)
A web browser extension that analyses media content and provides a credibility score in percentage. The extension using semantic tagging for data aggregation based on a sophisticated mathematical model for criteria weight management. The criteria is based on scientific input from specialists in media and also on well-acknowledged ethical codes of mass media.
Team: Albena Baeva (interdisciplinary artist) & Daniel Stefanov (software developer)
The Glitch project consists of long-term spatial installations placed in public space. The image visible on the screen starts out as white and black squares. Through movement sensors, the image begins to slowly change as a person passes by the installation. As more and more participants pass by, more pixels are flipped over to reveal the color beneath the simple surface. The project contributes illustrates how vital individual engagement is to the civil debate. The need for a strong civil society is not only valid for the major cities, but also for the peripheral areas, such as small towns and other forgotten corners.
Team: Katarzyna Pagowska (visual artist) & Oktawian Freus (programmer)
A social game with hidden bonuses that targets the widespread usage of non-recyclable plastic products with a short functional life. The game has two components: a 4-piece ergonomic kit (reusable cup, bottle, food box, bag) and an application. The application gives users small daily quests to solve fun and engaging puzzles and discover a location in their vicinity (a restaurant, a bar, a shop) where they can get a free drink/lunch with their kit.
Team: Katerina Vaseva (creative technologist)&Martin Bakardzhiev (digital artist)
An interactive (physical & VR) room aimed at raising awareness about transgender issues. Three human senses – audition, touch and sight are engaged to gently familiarize the public with Jane, her living room and her story. Would you like to meet Jane? Is there more than meets the eye?
Team: Tsveta Doycheva (actress/dancer) & Yan Lesnevskiy (programmer)
The pink tax refers to retailers charging women more than men for similar products. A recent Times investigation claimed that women and girls are charged, on average, 37% more for clothes, beauty products and toys. The pink tax platform aims to raise awareness about the “pink tax” issue through smart illustrations.
Team: Alexandra Ramirez (designer) and Ekaterina Mihaylova (technologist)
A curated online space offering a spectrum, polyphony of viewing angles, enabling the creation of informed opinions on complex issues. The project aims to burst the “filter bubble”, by fostering critical thinking and digital literacy.
Team: Kosara Spasova (web developer) & Elitza Koeva (new media artist)
Brotherhood: a reality show
The project focuses on the problem of a fragmented Hungarian society where different communities rarely interact with one another. Civil society and democracy cannot work properly in a society, where different social groups live in isolation. We will bring ten participants from Roma and non-Roma communities together for a week to interact and collaborate. This alternative reality show can show how different communities can live and act together as responsible citizens. Seeing such interaction would challenge the government's negative narrative against Roma communities.
Team: Balint Komenczi (sound artist) & Pardeep Attri (engineer)
If an idea strikes a chord and seems to be a match for your social change work, get in touch with us!