Technology That Shapes Us

Technology That Shapes Us



Trip Themes

Technology, Culture, Japanese History, Economic Growth

Cities Visited

Osaka, Kyoto, Tokyo

New Idea

How do advances in technology shape modern society?

Japan has been defining modern technology for decades and, as a result, the country is quite unique compared with the rest of the world. From robotic toilets and vending machines on every corner, to precision manufacturing and video games, examples of cutting edge innovation have shaped the country since the end of WWII.

We will begin our trip in Osaka, one of Japan’s largest cities for our first taste of modern Japan. We will quickly head to Kyoto, the old capital of the country as we begin exploring Imperial Japanese culture. In Kyoto we will visit temples and shrines, have an introduction to Japanese cultural traditions, and think about how these have been integrated with new technology.

We will then head to Tokyo, one of the largest cities in the world, and a global center of technology. In Tokyo we will dig into our research question hands on. We will visit the Akihabara district, the video game and technology area of the city, to see how all sorts of different people connect to technology. We will head to the top of one of Tokyo’s highest skyscrapers for sunset to see the city’s expansive infrastructure and visit the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation

Along the way we will meet different Japanese people to understand how technology has shaped their society. At the end of the trip we will collaborate on our own projects to shape technology and outline design objectives for how the technologies that we create and use should shape our shared futures.

Itinerary Highlights

  • Visiting ancient Japan by visiting temples, shrines, and palaces in Kyoto and Tokyo

  • Exploring the Harijuku video game district to see the cutting edge in Japanese taste

  • Fresh sushi in Tokyo’s morning fish market

  • Navigating Tokyo’s spectacular public transit system, and meeting the different mascots along the way

  • Experiencing all sorts of technology advances that haven’t caught on in other countries

  • A night at the Robot Restaurant to see an epic live battle of the future

  • Reflecting on how we as American’s use technology, and where this might take us.



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