Digital Cultures Lab - A List of Everything You'd Ever Want / Need to Know

A Wrap-Up of Everything

Posted by David N. Wright on June 1, 2018

Project Leads:

  • Director (Sept. 2012 - Jan. 2018): David N. Wright, Ph.D., English Department
  • Associate Director (Sept. 2012 - Jan. 2018): Brenna Clarke Gray, Ph.D., English Department
  • Member at Large: (Sept. 2012 - Jan. 2018): Peter Wilkins, Ph.D., English Department
  • See Also: The list of Student Research Assistants, or “Curators” as they were called at the Lab.

Mandate and History:

The Digital Cultures Lab was a team of researchers at Douglas College and beyond who work with digital media in higher education. The team was a collective of skill sets ranging from the discipline-based–critical analysis, problem solving, development of research questions–to the technical–computer coding languages, technological implementation, digital workflows. We worked to create a space to explore the effect emerging digital technologies were having on the practices of teaching, research, and communication. Our projects emphasized digital components or explored multimodal forms of communication.

The Digital Cultures Lab was initiated by David N. Wright in September 2012 with a mandate to act as a collaborative and multidisciplinary group of scholars and students encouraging and supporting experimentation with emerging digital tools. The Digital Cultures Lab was designed to function as an adaptable and responsive group that could leverage digital technologies to explore new applications for Applied and Humanities-based research. At the same time, the Lab’s broad-based expertise helped it support the application of digital technologies in a number of community contexts, giving its student “curators” practical experience with open-source digital tools. By utilizing digital technologies across a number of cross-disciplinary projects, The Digital Cultures Lab provided technical and disciplinary expertise across a wide range of practical applications in the Humanities and beyond.

Generally, the Digital Cultures Lab existed to:

  1. provide support for members who wish to conduct research, develop pedagogical methodologies, and organize events relating to, or having to do with, the creation, dissemination, and interpretation of technologies.
  2. promote reciprocal relationships between communities and academic institutions wanting to engage in the creation, dissemination, and interpretation of digital tools, technologies, or practices.
  3. foster sustained investigation into the cultural impact of digital technologies.


Total Funding 2012 - 2018: $70,000

Funding Sources:

Douglas College Research Incentive Grants (two of them) 2012 - 2018. SSHRC SIG (Institutional Grant) 2015 - 2018. BC Campus 2016 Partner Grant Funding for “Open Modernism Anthology.” B.C. Campus Open Textbook Project. Research Assistantship Stipend. Winnington Capital Group, 2012 - 2014. Digital Humanities Summer Institute Scholarship 2011 - 2015.

Note: nearly 90% of our funding went to support hiring students as research assistants. This represented a valuable opportunity for students in a College program or introductory stream, particularly 1st or 2nd-year undergraduate students. The remaining funding was used to purchase equipment and consumables for that equipment.

Digital Cultures Lab Research Assistants (2014 - 2018)

  • Janelle Davies: September 2012 - September 2013
  • Emilie McDonald: September 2013 - May 2014
  • Cora Fanucchi: September 2014 - March 2016
  • Doug Raymond: September 2015 - March 2016
  • Andrea Velez: September 2016 - March 2017
  • Megan Waldie: April 2017 - September 2017
  • Dixon Cohee: January 2017 - January 2018

The Project List

The list below, with descriptions, is a run-down of the projects we undertook while the Lab was an entity.

  • New Westminster Walking Tour – This project attempted to develop content for a mobile app that triggered when users walked past historical sites in New Westminster, B.C. Students searched through archives and other sources to build content for the walking tour.

  • Preserving Historical Objects for Interaction – This project worked to scan and print an Indigenous arrow point so that the copy (or fabrication) could be handled by visitors to the New Westminster Museum and Archive.

  • Recreating Video Game Cabinet and Pre-1990 Video Games – This project constructed a video game console from from scratch, working with emulators and other processors to recreate the gaming experience of playing in a 1980s arcade. We used Rasperry Pi and other digital boards and processors (including screens and trackballs) to recreate the gaming experience of the 1980s arcade.

  • The Innovation Series: Talking About Emerging Technologies A series of discussions on subjects such as multimodal thinking, 3D printing, and working with academics. Every second Tuesday (or so) at the Maker Lab in the New Westminster River Market.

  • The Fabrication of Truth: Reanimating the Erased – This project examines 3D objects that are no longer manufactured (ideally, things that were once mass produced, but now have almost entirely disappeared, so things that are rare), or that are symbolic to different cultures in a specific way — not religious symbols, but statues, or other monuments (Easter Island heads for instance).

  • 3D Printing for Pedagogy – This project looks to create discrete 3D printing projects that can be used in the Humanities classroom. Visualizing plot outlines, making a game out of James Joyce’s Ulysses, and finding ways to make the study of literature both tactile and applied are the desired outcomes.

  • The Multimodality of Comics in Everyday Life – Edited and curated by Ernesto Priego and David N. Wright, The Multimodality of Comics in Everyday Life cluster collects short articles by an international team of comics scholars. This cluster explores how comics infiltrate everyday cultural representations in ways that go beyond extensions of the printed page.

  • Coupland’s Visual Oeuvre as Digital Archive – Initiated by Brenna Clarke Gray, the purpose of this project is to collect, curate, and annotate Douglas Coupland’s visual oeuvre. While Coupland’s writing is readily accessible for scholarly research and student use, his visual art is much less so, found primarily within galleries and private exhibitions or as geographically fixed public monuments and large-scale sculptures. Exploring the possibility of an accessible digital archive would allow for scholars and students to make more direct use of Coupland’s visual oeuvre.

  • Small is the New Big: Reflections on Blogging and Comics – A Graphixia panel at Comics Forum 2013 in which the members of our team discuss the significance of blogging to the comics scene today as an alternative to academic publishing, presenting Graphixia and other grassroots blogs as critical analogues to small press comic publishers.

  • Comics and the Multimodal World: An International Conference – On June 13-16, 2013, Douglas College in New Westminster, B.C. hosted a multidisciplinary conference examining how comics intersect with digital culture, multimodal narrative, internationalism, information design, and alternative literacies. The conference featured student workshops, community forums, comics practitioners, booksellers, academic paper presentations, and two keynote lectures from Sarah Leavitt and Bart Beaty.

Digital Cultures Lab / Maker Lab Press: (No apologies for dead links…)

Share this post:

Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada