The MEEET Lab – Media Existential Encounters and Evolving Technology Lab @ DSI & UB
2023 - 2025
The MEEET Lab offers researchers, students and the interested public the opportunity to get to know, try out and use technologies that have taken and are taking a decisive role in the process of digital transformation of our society.
Digitalization processes, which keep our society on its toes with their high pace of development, have led to numerous technologies that our society is confronted with today. However, many of them, such as virtual, augmented or extended reality applications, have not yet been «grasped» by many and are not embedded in everyday life in the same way as working on a computer or communicating via smartphone. But the devices and software of the past, typewriters, personal computers or the first handheld devices, are also no longer familiar, especially to the younger generation. If we want to understand the influences of today’s digitalization processes on the individual and society with regards to existential meaning-making processes and embed this in a larger development context, we need a «hands-on» knowledge of these technologies. At the same time, the implementation of evolving technologies, new interfaces, applications, etc. need constant reflection and evaluation concerning their ethical and anthropological implications for the future.
In science and university teaching, too, work is being done on and with numerous technologies and their interfaces to specific topics that analyze and reflect on the implications of digital transformation. This includes projects that deal with existential questions such as the evolution of human interaction from the beginning to today, the effects of current digitalization dynamics on the religious practices of individuals and institutions or the possibilities of motivating learning through playification. Here, it is important to offer fundamental opportunities and spaces to develop this research and teaching in cooperative collaboration and to transparently highlight the latest trends that can be further worked on.
The MEEET Lab (Media Existential Encounters and Evolving Technology Lab), located in the heart of the University of Zurich campus, offers researchers, students and the interested public a place with unique equipment where these technologies – from original writing instruments to the latest gaming equipment – can be used «hands-on». It is a place that enables collaborative work on research projects in the field of technological knowledge and digitalization and their further developments. This shall encourage the acquisition of technological and content-related knowledge for teaching at all levels of education as well as the development of innovative forms of teaching. The lab also serves as a meeting and exchange place with the interested public on the numerous topics of digitisation in our society.
The MEEET Lab consists of the merger of two Lab proposals that, due to their compatible basic ideas and approaches, want to share a physical location and create synergies:
|Team Dr. Hiloko Kato / Prof. Dr. Noah Bubenhofer
Deutsches Seminar / LiRI / DSI Community GamingThe group Kato/Bubenhofer et al. contributes with their expertise in the holistic approach to media appropriation and historical hands-on approaches, including the profound knowledge of Large Language Models. It also brings in expertise in digital games, based on the knowledge resources provided by the members of the DSI Community Gaming, including game-based learning and research approaches and the involvement of the game-developing sector.
|Team Prof. Dr. Thomas Schlag / Prof. Dr. Beth Singler
Faculty of Theology / UFSP «Digital Religion(s)»The group Schlag/Singler et al. contributes with their expertise in existential meaning-making practices, based on their research in the URPP Digital Religions, exploring both the benefits that come with technological innovation (e.g. with Artificial Intelligence) as well as the potential ethical, political, regulatory, and health-related risks and challenges. It also brings in expertise in ethnography, digital practices, pedagogy, and connections with DSI Communities «Ethics», «Education» and «Communication».
The MEEET Lab is funded by the Digital Society Initiative (DSI) of the University of Zurich and is maintained in collaboration with the University Library of the University of Zurich (UB). Project partners include strong networks within the Digitisation Initiative of Zurich Universities (DIZH) and renowned players from the education sector and industry.