The Hokusei Gakuen University Digital Media and Society Lab was founded in April 2017 as one of Japan’s only research groups to focus on the cross-cultural dynamics of cyberpsychology and digital media use. With the rapidly growing consumer class in the Asia-Pacific region, there has never been a more important time to focus on culture’s impact on digital media interaction, consumption, and creation.
The lab is led by Robert Thomson (www.robthomo.com), who gained his Masters and Ph.D. from Hokkaido University (Japan), has studied at the University of Oxford Internet Institute (UK), and is originally from New Zealand. Fluent in Japanese (he wrote his Masters thesis in Japanese), and having lived in Japan for over 10 years, he is well placed to facilitate lab research into culture and the Internet.
Hokusei Gakuen University (HGU) is surrounded by places to go and things to see. Besides the nearby subway station, HGU is also right next to the Shiroishi Cycling Road, which is a 100% separated cyclepath that runs directly into central Sapporo (about 12km from HGU). The cycleroad carries on all the way to Kita-Hiroshima City, which means getting out of the bustle of Sapporo is really easy.
The lab logo is a mash-up of the words “digital,” “media,” “society,” and “lab”. Digital was transformed into its Japanese phonetic equivalent “デジタル” and just the first two katakana characters “デジ” were retained. Likewise, “media” took on the Japanese equivalent “メディア”, and we just kept the first character “メ”. Then we took the first two letters of “society” and “lab” to make “sola”. And voila: “デジメsola“