& functions of storytelling
We believe that storytelling can change the world. Columbia University School of the Arts’ Digital Storytelling Lab (aka Columbia DSL) is a next generation media lab harnessing the arts, humanities and emergent technology to tackle some of the world’s impossible problems through…
+ Design Research
The Columbia DSL designs stories for the 21st Century. We build on a diverse range of creative and research practices originating in fields from the arts, humanities and technology. But we never lose sight of the power of a good story. Technology, as a creative partner, has always shaped the ways in which stories are found and told. In the 21st Century, for example, the mass democratization of creative tools — code, data and algorithms — have changed the relationship between creator and audience. The Columbia DSL, therefore, is a place of speculation, of creativity, and of collaboration between students and faculty from across the University. New stories are told here in new and unexpected ways.
Join Columbia faculty and industry innovators as we explore the current and future landscape of digital storytelling.
In 2023 students can explore new forms and functions of storytelling within the following courses
– Digital Storytelling I
– Digital Storytelling II
– Digital Storytelling III
– New Media Art
For more details please reference School of the Arts course listings.
COLLABORATORS WANTED: Become part of the Columbia DSL prototyping community
We host a monthly Columbia DSL Meetup at the Film Society of Lincoln Center in NYC
Come explore new forms and functions of storytelling with creatives from around the world. Columbia DSL invites you join our new global prototyping community
Story I/O returns Nov 5th
Story I/O – Decentralized Storytelling & the Metaverse
Columbia DSL featured in new NEA field study
Where There’s Smoke at COMET medical conference
Digital Dozen 2021
Sandbox episode #6: Introducing the RE:START LAB: tools & methods for uncertain times
TEST/BREAK – new program explores the development of virtual works
Story I/O returns September 26th – Trust in an Age of Deepfakes & Bots
Digital Dozen 2020
From the Futures
[Virtual Gathering] Speculative Design + Social Dreaming
Case Study – “Where There’s Smoke” immersive storytelling installation at Tribeca Film Festival
Columbia DSL on github – open source code for those interested in exploring new forms and functions of storytelling
2019 list of 50 Immersive Things that mix storytelling, performance, play, design and code
Columbia DSL has a new Podcast
Dinner with Frankenstein AI challenge
The Fall of Frankenstein – a series of events celebrating the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
Building Storyworlds class heads to Google
Breakthroughs in Storytelling Awards 2018
“Frankenstein AI: a monster made by many” kicks off world tour at the Sundance Film Festival
Columbia DSL is headed to Sundance
Test & Break – an evening of prototyping
Story I/O – a special event to explore new forms & functions of storytelling
Speculative Fiction – world building for imagined futures
Frankenstein AI: a monster made by many
Digital Dozen: Breakthroughs in Storytelling
Last chance to register for Sherlock Holmes & the Internet of Things
Special Event Feb. 23rd, live at the Film Society of Lincoln Center
Sherlock Holmes returns to Lincoln Center
Breakthroughs in Storytelling
The Human Element
Bridging the Physical & Digital Worlds
Welcome to Sherlock Holmes & the Internet of Things
“The Power of Immersive Media” featured in strategy+business magazine
Columbia DSL at World Economic Forum
Entering the World of Sherlock Holmes
Bit by Bit: Experiments in Digital Storytelling
What could a Digital Storytelling Lab at Columbia look like?
COLUMBIA DSL’s SANDBOX is a podcast that highlights the people and projects that are exploring new forms and functions of storytelling. We often record the podcast in front of a live audience at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center at Film at Lincoln Center.
To see the archive of shows click here.
PROTOTYPE UPDATE: Frankenstein AI kicks off global tour with a world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival
The “Digital Dozen” and its Breakthroughs in Storytelling Awards honor the year’s most innovative approaches to narrative – digitaldozen.io
EXECUTIVE EDUCATION COURSE: STRATEGIC STORYTELLING MAXIMUM IMPACT IN A DIGITAL WORLD with best-selling author and lab member Frank Rose is held each Spring and Fall.
Storytelling has always been central to human experience – it’s how we explain and make sense of the world. But today, as media-savvy audiences begin to tune out advertising messages while searching for ever-more-immersive entertainment experiences, the way businesses and professionals need to communicate is changing. Led by best-selling author Frank Rose and offered in partnership with Columbia University School of the Arts, Strategic Storytelling introduces the concept of “story thinking” and shows how it can be used to achieve maximum impact in a digital world. Read More
Project Immerse is a collaborative thriller set in the paranoid age of deepfakes, shallow fakes, bots, and fake news. Sensitive photos, cryptic audio, videos and top secret documents have been leaked. Participants race the clock to explore the materials and uncover who leaked the information and why? Ultimately deciding whether to share their findings with […]
“TRUE! – nervous – very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses – not destroyed – not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I […]
Frankenstein AI: a monster made by many reimagines Shelley’s seminal work through the lens of a naive, emotional, and highly intelligent “life form” - an AI. Rather than taking a dystopian perspective on this rapidly emerging technology...
This Fall the School of the Arts is offering a new course Digital Storytelling: Immersive Production This course is open to students across the University and credit and letter grades are possible for those outside of the School of the Arts. Digital Storytelling: Immersive Production is a semester-long course offered in the fall. The course […]
The future is uncertain and when it arrives, it can be strange and disorienting. Perhaps nowhere is this tension felt more fully than in regards to our health...
Building Simulations for Empathic Care
Columbia University School of the Arts’ Digital Storytelling Lab & the Center for Justice, the Empathy Lab & Refinery29 present a Think & Do session on Shared Reality: An exploration into best practices for designing and producing *Virtual/Augmented/Mixed Reality experiences as tools for Social Justice
Shared Reality + Social Justice
The Columbia Digital Storytelling Lab’s “Digital Dozen: Breakthroughs in Storytelling” program honors the most creative approaches to narrative from the past year. Set up to encourage innovation, creativity, and an awareness of the myriad ways digital technology is changing the way we tell stories, the program is open to works from any field or discipline, […]
A special collaboration between the Urban Design School and the Columbia Digital Storytelling Lab explores the power of storytelling to help design, mobilize, reimagine and renew urban landscapes. A two day event that mixes think & do.
Designed to be an open R&D space that experiments with shifts in authorship and ownership of stories, the global storytelling experiment also uses a detective narrative to examine the policy and ethical issues surrounding the Internet of Things (IoT).
Sherlock Holmes & the Internet of Things
Rikers Story Bot is a coding workshop and an algorithmic storytelling project set in and about Rikers Island correctional facility, New York city's main jail complex.
Rikers Story Bot
As PBS deepens the 21st century iterations of its core mission to education, culture and the arts, and news and information, the call to transform public media is pressing and urgent.
Together we can reimagine public media
My Sky Is Falling is an immersive storyworld that aims to raise awareness about the challenges American foster children face before they age out of the foster care system.