After a discussion with my partner regarding my initial design proposal, it was obvious that there were many unresolved areas/ areas that needed further consideration before it would be deemed a workable concept. Admittingly, my direction was still pretty vague as I wanted to create an online platform that would promote shared housing as an attractive housing solution for Gen Y, which would be economically and spatially viable for the future. However, the issue was that it lacked an unique differentiation from the already existing services out there, such as http://www.flatmates.com.au, which “allows people to list their spare rooms, find accommodation or team up with others to start a share house.”
Ideally, I was interested in suggesting different housing typologies as from the research I’ve conducted, the reality that traditional nuclear family homes are not necessarily considered the most suitable housing model for the growing demographics and dwelling types, hence the solution of shared housing – whether multigenerational housing, shared house ownership, seemed like an attractive avenue to explore, particularly as someone like myself was not previously aware of these housing models.
After further discussions with the tutor and my group members, and a revisit of my previous blog posts, I felt like there was potential to use the probe I conducted which inquired into the spending priorities of a sample individual from Gen Y, in relation to visualising the affordability of buying a home.
Practice Type: Service Design+Data Visualisation
The Issue: There is a general lack of awareness for Generation Y, in the sense that they are not constantly thinking about the housing affordability crisis because there is a feeling of hopelessness that discourages them to consider it as an achievable goal, or, it does not seem like an imminent reality that they should be concerned about in their current situation given the range that Generation Y spans (18-25 year olds) where the priorities of buying a house may differ in extent. However, in order to bring awareness and encourage them to take action, there needs to be some sense of relevance made towards their current situation, which will put into perspective their attainability of future home ownership.
The Possible change: “Ultimately, the only long-term solution to improve the home ownership prospects of young Australians is to change the imbalance between incomes and house prices” (Rowley 2016) Based off of this quote from an article “What’s the key to home ownership for Gen Y?”, it is important to show personal projections of each individual’s potential to afford home ownership, in terms of their own spending habits, as revealing insights into their monetary behaviour can in turn bring an awareness to what it means for them to afford a home in the future.
The Design Action: To promote the affordability of a house for Generation Y as a more achievable goal by providing a service that assists them in becoming more aware of what their spending goes towards, which would generate their weeks/months spending into visualisations. The highest category of their respective spending would then be used to project how much of those quantities would amount to their ideal house. The use of their spending data and transforming them into visualisations that would inform them of their potential to purchase their ideal home, would be a done in a way which would be enlightening, motivating and potentially humorous as their highest category of spending could be on something that the individual would not typically expect. For example, if the individual’s highest category of spending was dedicated to their Netflix subscriptions, it would then produce a visualisation that show how many Netflix subscriptions would allow them to purchase the home they want. The individual would also have the option to share these outcomes with their friends (via social media), which could be a way of generating more discussion around better income management and as such, making the affordability of housing a closer step to reality. The style of the service design could potentially be casual and conversational, as it is something I would want people from Gen Y to want to use, unlike many ‘budget apps’ out there which feel too serious and focused on entering monetary values.