Exploring present and possible forms of value exchange in the digital economy
In a Nutshell
Value exchange in the digital economy
AfterMoney is a research project in collaboration with Bettina Nissen and Shaune Oosthuizen that explores present and possible forms of value exchange in the digital economy to challenge perceptions of current as well as future practices. As a culmination of this research, we have developed a research tool that reveals some of the increasingly common non-monetary exchanges in a growing digital sharing economy. The project aims to highlight concealed practices of how we trade, barter and share value across multiple forms of currency.
Exploring the boundaries
What constitutes currency and how will it change in the future? How will we exchange values beyond current monetary transactions? What forms of exchange will emerge and what may constitute new currency? Will data become a new currency? How would you exchange your data for services or products? How do you exchange time, data, and other currencies for services or products?
The AfterMoney app explores the boundaries of what we are currently paying with and what we may be willing to pay with as future medium of exchange.
How It Works
An Experiential Exhibit
We developed a mobile application and installed it in the Design Informatics Pavilion as part of the FuturePlay Festival. To create a holistic experience, we designed a candy booth together with candy packages with unique bar codes, which allowed visitors to purchase. By using the AfterMoney app, visitors were able to exchange a selfie for a flake or to sweep for sweets.
Interface and User Flow
The app has a straightforward structure and user flow, so it’s relatively easy for visitors to understand without further explanation. The color scheme reflects different types of payment – data, time, money – using distinct colors for each category. The Raspberry Pi embedded in the broom is connected with the app to count time if ‘Paying with Sweeping’ is selected.
Approach and Future Direction
This project is part of a larger research project. Under the theme of exploring current and future forms of value exchange in the digital economy, this project aims to challenge current perceptions and provoke discussions, using a design-led and participatory approach. The AfterMoney app acts as a research tool that reveals some of the increasingly common non-monetary exchanges and aims to highlight concealed or subconscious practices of how we trade, barter and share value across multiple currency. Through the exhibition, we had the chance to engage numerous visitors through the live experience, receiving feedbacks and provoking conversations. The public engagement helped open up many future lines of inquiry.