Most people are familiar with Swedish design through IKEA. But the country has a new hot designer: Big Data.
Between January and October of 2014, a Swedish online housing portal called Hemnet, collected data from more than 200 million clicks, gathered from 20% of Sweden’s population.
The idea was to create the ultimate image of democracy: a home built by the people, for the people.
It’s called the Hemnet House, or, more affectionately, the House of Clicks. It represents the most popular specs of all houses clicked through on the site, spanning more than 86,000 listings.
Staffan Tell, spokesperson for Hemnet, says the project was inspired by a simple and straightforward goal.
“It really was an experiment driven by curiosity,” he tells Business Insider.
Looking at companies that use big data as the bedrock of their decision making — Tell points to Netflix’s model for user recommendations — Hemnet wanted to understand what the country’s nine million or so citizens wanted from a house.
Turns out, it’s simplicity with a touch of the familiar.
The House of Clicks is a red wood-paneled cube. But it’s not just any red. It’s Falu red, a deep red native to Swedish barns and cottages that evokes an old-world feel.
Inside is much different. The rustic sense is replaced by white-walled, open-concept rooms.
According to the data, grey sofas, fireplaces, and stone countertops are must-haves.
Swedes want their kitchens nestled next to their living rooms, without obstacle, so as to easily entertain their guests.
In total, the House of Clicks features four rooms spread across 1,115 square feet. Tell says the anticipated listing price will fall near 2.8 million krona, or roughly $US345,000.
Whether that’s affordable depends a lot on where potential buyers live, Tell concedes.
“If you’re close to Stockholm,” he says, where prices are the highest, “that would be considered very modest. But if you’re somewhere far up north, that would be a high cost.”
Construction is anticipated to begin in the spring of 2016. If the demand is great enough, the House of Clicks could be just the beginning.
Data from the online portal could clue architects into a wealth of preferences, including desired home sizes, interior designs, and even migration trends.
It’s good for people and it’s good for business, Tell says. “It’s going to affect a lot what kind of services you need to have, both for city and regional planning.”