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Digital Society Initiative


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 Gaming

The 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.


Project duration: 01.08.2023 – 31.07.2025

Contact: Dr.Hiloko Kato

Location: The MEEET Lab @ DSI and UB, Rämistrasse 69, 8001 Zurich (1st floor)


Project Team

Dr. Hiloko Kato, Head of Research, DSI Community Gaming

Hiloko Kato is a research assistant in Game Design at the ZHdK and Chair of the DSI Community Gaming. She works in the SNF project «Confoederatio Ludens» on the media reception of (Swiss) games and also researches the interfaces between language and digital games with a focus on the digital agency of players and virtual characters.

Prof. Dr. Noah Bubenhofer, Deutsches Seminar / LiRI

Noah Bubenhofer is a Professor of Linguistics at the German Department and researches the function and meaning of language in culture and society. His focus is on the development of digital methods and the analysis of digitality from the perspective of media linguistics and language theory.  Noah Bubenhofer also researches the potential of visualisations of language and communication and is involved in the theorisation of «digital linguistics».

Prof. Dr. Thomas Schlag, Faculty of Theology / UFSP «Digital Religion(s)»

Thomas Schlag is a Professor of Practical Theology at the University of Zurich. His research focuses on religious education, church theory and pastoral theology. He is also concerned with questions of theological communication practice and how current digitalization dynamics influence, shape, and transform the religious practice of individuals and institutions.

Prof. Dr. Beth Singler, Faculty of Theology / UFSP «Digital Religion(s)»

Beth Singler, Associate professor at the University of Zurich, is a cultural and digital anthropologist, who researches our uses, perceptions, and narratives of AI, emerging digital religions, and ethical and social issues around new technologies. She will provide support in reflexive anthropological methods, AI ethics, and science communication.