MediaLAB Amsterdam is now the Digital Society School! You are viewing an archive of MediaLAB projects. Content on this website may be outdated, and is without guarantee.

Finalists at the Crypto Design Challenge!!!

by Abdo

On Friday the 25th of November, Anna Bleakly and Abdelrahman Hassan of Medialab Amsterdam participated as finalists in the second edition of the Crypto-design Challenge, which was held at the Paradiso. The competition was posed to help reshape the dominant image of the deep web through design thinking and innovative solutions. 15 out of a total of 36 submissions were selected by a jury to participate in the final event.

MediaLab’s contribution:

Anna and Abdelrahman’s submission was titled ‘The Ustopic Web’ and relied on showing two extreme interpretations of the deep web, a utopic one and a dystopic one. The audience then followed the journey of a fictional Thai activist as she navigates both webverses. The audience is able to slide the screen and alternate between the two webverses, finding a Ustopic Balance (Atwood, 2011).

More information on the submission can be found at


The event:

-The Crypto Design Awards event included talks from prolific speakers such as Ingrid Burrington, Tijmen Schep, Constant Dullaart and Hendrick-Jan Grievink. The talks posed important questions about the nature of the deep web, privacy concerns and other social implications of poor design. Of the many critical themes discussed were:

-The dangers of a reputation economy

-The marketing and accessibility of cryptography.

-The relevance of natural language metaphors

-The internet as a semi-public, semi-private space, much like the balcony.

-The physicality and infrastructure of the web.

-Protocol design and web art.

More about the Design challenge can be found at