Estimated reading time: 1 minute, 43 seconds

Domus Economicus

Concept | Movie | AR App


Dutch Design Week 2018, The Arena @ G18, Eindhoven
Beyond Data Event 2018, Van der Valk Hotel, Eindhoven
Juristendag 2018 @ Gemeente Eindhoven, Keukenconfessies, Eindhoven


In the Netherlands, it has become increasingly more difficult for average wage earners to afford rent for their own place in big cities. Among young people, there is a group whose income is too low to find affordable private rentals and too high to qualify for social housing. These young professionals are stuck somewhere in between. They are unable to find suitable housing, or struggling to meet skyrocketing rents.

The short movie above is one tangible design outcome of the project, which can be displayed online, next to an AR interactive installation showcasing the app prototype (for example, at industry events, presentations, or for promotion, or at real estate company offices). Further on , you will find a few visual snippets of the AR app prototype.


Domus Economicus offers a speculative solution to this problem: a housing service where tenants can offset part of their rent by exchanging it for their own personal data, or for personalised advertising space in their home. The service makes it possible for any monthly rent to be discounted from the market price for an agreed-upon amount of time. This way, rent becomes less of a mountain to climb each month, but something users can control depending on their aspirations and financial needs .


Would proposals like Domus Economicus encourage the further strengthening of privacy protection standards? Will these increase (future) consumer trust? Under what terms would it be possible to exchange my data for rent discounts? Should the next GDPR take this into account? These are all questions Domus Economicus puts at the forefront of the affordable housing debate.

In essence: Creative thinking paired with (ethically-minded) technological development can help us make housing affordable. But where do we start? And what needs to change? The Domus Economicus app is one way to do it and certainly a call for an extensive (and much needed) conversation about housing inequality.