Tradery Café

In 2025 Data Becomes The Currency

Completion - 2019 Fall
Collaborators - Vicky Zhou, Amber Lee

Speculative Design
Environment Design

UI/UX Design


For professor Stuart Candy's Future Bazaar, we were asked to inspect an aspect of the future and design a product/service to 'sell' in the bazaar. To incite discussions over the control of personal data, I led our team to imagine a dystopia where data becomes a form of currency.

We proposed a speculative data bakery where people can directly trade goods with their personal data. We presented the bakery and its transaction interface for customers to sell their data and purchase pastries at the Future Bazaar.




Research
“Wouldn’t it be easier just to treat the information space as public resource and tax or charge companies somehow for the benefit of using it?”

Jaron Lanier, Who Owns the Future?
Context ︎ 
Inspiredby Jaron Lanier’s book and the jarring reality the documentary The Great Hack reveals, we inspected a future about data to incite discussions over the control of personal data.
[1] How Much Is Your Personal Data Worth?
[2] Are Data Subjects Investors? Tae Wan Kim et al.




Experiential Future Mapping ︎
We first mapped out the scenario, situation and stuff to understand the greater social context;




Stakeholder Mapping ︎
Based on the context we zoomed into the process and stakeholders of data harvesting and how it is transformed into services back on users.
[3] Facebook Algorithmic Factory





Goals ︎
Despite the future of data collection decentrualization seems promising, we hope to encourage participants to re-examine the idea of data market from the few following points.

  • What would be a fair trade for data?
  • Are we knowledgable enough about our data to trade with it?
  • Can we actually gain more control in consumerism by having more control with our data?



Future Artifacts
What if there is a data transaction platform that helps you communicate with data collectors, and allows you to cash your data easily?
World Building ︎
In 2025, data transaction has transformed from informal to formal economy. Tradery, as the biggest data transaction plaform, connects you with diverse data marketplaces, so you have full ownership and profit over your data.


Environment Design
Tradery is promoting the service to get people accustomed to transact with data. How to encourage customers monetize their data through spatial design?

Scenario Brainstorm︎
We proposed 3 environmental touchpoints to rebrand the experience. We chose the bakery idea because it is not only relatable to people’s daily life but also a two-way interaction that customers can see the physical benefit from the transaction.





Space Design︎
Tradery ATM Cafe
To give visitors privacy but also provides a warm bakery social environment, Tradery pop-up bakery is inspired by ATM machines for its security & convenience.
We also adapted a social section so that customers can 
Lighting︎
The renderings show how the space is lit up. Inspired by the lighting in the Japanese street food stands, we designed the overhead warm light to provide a sense of security as well as intimacy.







Digital Design  
The design of the point-of-view interface allows users to sell data and purchase pastry. What information can help users make data selling decisions?
Sell Data︎
One key aspect of the data selling process is to provide users a sense of security. Users can review terms & conditions, details of the data collected, and prices that collectors offer to help with decision-making.




Purchase Pastry︎
One key aspect of the data selling process is to provide users a sense of security. Users can review terms & conditions, details of the data collected, and prices that collectors offer to help with decision-making.





Future Bazarr!
For the final presentation, we installed a simple stall in the Future Bazarr to test people’s reaction to the future we proposed. People can choose their donuts, put their phones on the scanning platform and customize their data transaction. People find the process of data transaction ceremonial yet uncomfortable when giving out their information although they had full control.




Additional Read




Mark
︎meijiehuuu@gmail.com