Urbanarium Hackathon Transforming Community: Ethọ́s Lab Youth Take on the Fourth Place

Design Competition

Urbanarium Hackathon Transforming Community: Ethọ́s Lab Youth Take on the Fourth Place

The Urbanarium Hackathon Transforming Community: Ethọ́s Lab Youth Take on the Fourth Place was a 3-day virtual event in partnership with Microsoft and Ethọ́s Lab. 22 youth with the support of 12 mentors (4 tech professionals, 4 urbanists, 4 Ethọ́s Lab) were challenged with the question: how can urban design, architecture and technology intersect in a way for youth to co-create community during this time of isolation and distancing?


Ethọ́s Lab was imagined as a cooperative network of spaces for youth ages 12-18. Think: Hogwarts meets Wakanda meets We Work. Using a co-creation model and a design process centred on the humanity of the Black experience, Ethọ́s Lab is committed to building leadership capacity within the Black community in imagining and developing spaces of innovation. COVID accelerated a need for this Third Place vision to be reimagined.

Ethọ́s Lab teens were ready to take this on!

All participants received DoorDash credits for hack day hospitality, Microsoft Circuit Playgrounds, Urbanarium sketchbooks and Ethọ́s Lab t-shirts.

The winning team was awarded the opportunity to share their idea with Gil Kelley, General Manager of Planning, Urban Design, and Sustainability at City of Vancouver. 

Ethọ́s Lab has now transcended beyond physical space to digital space and is developing a fun online collaborative enterprise. Using the same co-creation model and design process established at its genesis, this platform will be uniquely outfitted with tools and equipment intended to deliver experiences that incite curiosity and build a community of innovators.

Future Scenarios

Introduction Text: 

At the Hackathon four incredible new places where created: Atlanthọ́s, Foreign World, EP-World // One Crew and the portals of Team JSKCP. 

AND... the winning Place was Atlanthọ́s! an underwater arena where youth can hang out online. Meet up, choose your ball and event with friends and you are transported into a virtual ecosystem together. You get there by using a VR headset. The balls can be an instrument where the movement of the ball produces music and your avatar can have special abilities and superpowers! Spend time making things, playing games, doing research, watching sports and interacting with community-created characters such as Dacque. All the food in the arena is vegetarian such as sushi, seaweed and ramen noodle soup!




Urbanarium Mentors:

  • Surabhi Shakkarwar
  • ​Kristen Elkow
  • Bryan He
  • Patricia Perrone

Microsoft Mentors:

  • Riko Hamblin
  • Ibikia Iworima
  • Ore Ogundipe
  • Sakariya Ahmed

Ethọ́s Lab Mentors:

  • Aida Mwanzia
  • Joan Wandolo


  • Shad, hip hop recording artist and broadcaster
  • Alicia Medina, architect and entrepreneur
  • Edoardo De Martin, GM of Microsoft Vancouver