Centre for Digital Cultures

Organisational unit: Institute

Organisation profile

The Centre for Digital Cultures (CDC) unites a large range of research and development activities dedicated to the digital shift. It engages in knowledge creation and transfer, experimental and interventionist media practices, and research in disciplines such as media, social and cultural studies. The CDC aims to both understand the epochal digital shift through excellent research, and to become one of the major European forces that shape digital cultures to come.

The CDC has seen a remarkable uptake of successful funding bids. The major projects are funded by the European Fund for Regional Development (EFRE) and the State of Lower Saxony, by the German Research Council (DFG) and the VW Foundation respectively. Additional smaller projects are supported by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Transmediale, and the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF). The CDC has by now more than 80 researchers and cultural producers from all over the world. They work on questions such as:

  • Transmedia: How can we understand and develop new formats for entertainment as well as culture and education, merging different forms of production, participation, distribution and aesthetics?
  • User and Audience Research: What kind of methods enable us to understand new usage and consumption patterns, addressing digital cultures’ both global and local audiences? 
  • Gamification: Computer games have a growing relevance in contemporary life, not only due to the games themselves, but also through their metaphors and methods. What new opportunities arise?
  • Common Media: Which new forms of citizenship and cultural/political engagement are developing in the digital age, and how can we understand, enact and strengthen them?
  • Net based Public Broadcast: How can publicly funded provision of information, education, culture and entertainment adapt to the internet? How can new versions of basic provision be realized?
  • Hybrid Publishing: Which avenues for the communication and dissemination of knowledge beyond classrooms and research articles can be constructed, adapting the cultural and economic logic of the digital age?
  • Computer Simulation: From climate change to mass panics: Knowledge production based on computer simulation is shaping our worldview. How can we analyse and understand its effects?

Research and development at the CDC traverse boundaries between the academic sector, culture and the arts, industry, governmental bodies and civil society. It is a conducive, productive and experimental research environment, in which researchers and entrepreneurs, activists and artists, producers and hackers, thinkers and doers broker dynamic connections. Visions, blueprints and experimental findings get exposed to real-world conditions. The development of innovative teaching formats is a further crucial part of the mix: Leuphana Digital School is bringing knowledge and education online, and a new English-speaking Bachelor in Digital Media started in autumn 2013, developed in cooperation with Leuphana’s Institute for the Culture and Aesthetics of Digital Media, Hamburg Media School and Hongkong City University. The result is a new, open and engaged form of research and development for Europe’s digital cultures.


  • Transmedia
  • User and Audience Research 
  • Gamification
  • Common Media
  • Net based Public Broadcast
  • Hybrid Publishing
  • Computer Simulation
  • Artistic Research
  • New Teaching Formats