After Money

What constitutes currency in the digital economy and how will it change in the future?

The purpose of the ESRC-funded After Money research project (ES/N007018/1) was to explore current and future 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 developed a research tool that reveals the increasingly common non-monetary exchanges in a growing digital sharing economy. This AfterMoney app aims to highlight concealed or subconscious practices of how we trade, barter and share value across multiple forms of currency. We aim to question what constitutes currency and how will it change in the future?

With increasingly precarious employment situations due to automation and digital platforms, how will we exchange value 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? What do you consider the value of your time to be? What would you exchange for your time? How do you exchange time, data and other currencies for services or products? The AfterMoney app is exploring the boundaries of what we are currently paying with and what we may be willing to pay with as future medium of exchange.

We installed this app in the Design Informatics Pavilion which exhibits a mixture of design and technology exploring themes aimed at provoking discussions on what it means to “design with data”. The exhibition is free and open to all, so join us and try our interactive installation. Our AfterMoney app may ask you to exchange a selfie for a flake or to sweep for your sweets. Come down to the Design Informatics Pavilion to explore how you could pay for candy with different forms of currency beyond just money.

UI Design and Photos by Yuxi Liu

This project was developed as part of the ESRC-funded After Money project.