The first project topic introduced is about consumer behavior and culture of Single Youth Households. The project illustrates an ecosystem of Studentification in city of London. The title of the illustration below is “The Studentification in London”. Describing the youths’ urban experiences in the city, and how they are linked with the city (in this project, TFL service is intendly missing) (This project is held by Sun-Young HA, 2016-17).
Due to the increase of international students and visitors in the UK (17% growth; Euromonitor 2010), the higher education institutions have been focused on the phenomenon, so called “Studentification” (Smith 2002; Universities UK 2006; Munro et al. 2009). It has been influenced by gentrification from 1960s (which has been described as a fundamental reason of the Brexit). However, the recent argument is how to make this student market better in terms of the internationals’ urban experiences. There are many limitations of students living in the large city, especially Single Youth population.
In this research project, named Solo SOS, I deal with the single youths’ consumer behavioral disorder issue, such as (a) housing problem living in a large city and (b) problems coming from low income. Further, I research this topic with the local connection concept using city creative business infrastructure to resolve. To do so, first, I define some terms and arguments and second, I discuss with how suggested issues are linked into creative business with social innovation research projects.
In the City of London, there has been a tremendous increase of one-person households (OPHs; Single Households). As the alternatives, there are flats for share housing or co-living concept apartment; student accommodation. Not only many single youths feel lonely, but also the well-systemised accommodations are in lack or expensive.
The goal of this research projects are followed:
(1) to rescue single youths are not lonely anymore alone, (2) to guide single youth to obtain various local information for living in a large city, (3) to change the perception about single youths’ spending habit in a large city, (4) to search a medium from the local’s supplies and single households’ demands.
Studentification In The City of London
The term Studentification was established by Smiths (2002) to describe the growth of high concentration of students within the localities of Higher Education Institutions (MacMillan Dictionary). Dictionary meaning is; “the social and environmental changes caused by large numbers of students living in particular areas of a town or city.”
Again, what single youths needs and wants? They want smart consumption, reducing useless spending, visualising their habitual expenditure, and suitable spending and saving to living in large city like London. Most single youths are Millennials, Generation Y. The figure below shows the articulation of the single youths’ desired behaviors on selective affinity. Single youths have different selective affinity depends on their independency level.
Correlation of Spending Patterns and Single Households
Research Question: How might we change single youths’ perception about their buying habits living in the large city? What can city service suppliers (e.g. institutions, universities, organizations) help and guide for single youths’ networking and allow them to efficient living in London (specifically which fields)?
I interviewed to Money-Kit text population with the following questions; (1) How was it different before and after use Money-Kit? (2) What was the main spending? Did you get any external impact? (3) How did you find your buying patterns change while you participate in the Money-Kit challenge and what was different in your mind? (4) How do you think the success factors in the Money-Kit? (5) Self-reward spending versus Self-reliance cost? (6) How do you think the most positive or negative of the single youth households? And how does this influenced in your single living?
From the Money-Kit test population interview: “It is difficult to know if it is reasonable purchase. But it is true that I’d like to know where I spend my money in a right way. However, the Money-Kit is helping me to know my daily spending.”, “Money-kit experience was a challenge by myself to bring a limitation on my expenditure. This rash challenge quite helpful to reduce my purchasing habits, because of simple use experience, and free to write my own contents.”
From the Money-kit Challenge experience, I could learn more about where students money problems arise. For instance, many respondents spend much money on the weekends to meet their friends. For the rest of the week they then felt stressed to save more money. Single youths have a strong influence from the advertisement contents which can help their reducing budget, like coupon book or magazine (e.g. TimeOut London). Money-kit Challenge induced for single youths to limit their money expenditure, and help them organize their expenditure. Also, the purchasing rate is increased with their SNS usage in a day. The expenditure ranking result was shown like this: Ranking 1: Food and groceries consumption, Ranking 2: Renting house, Ranking 3: Education, Ranking 4: Travel (by the stats of single youth fifty (50) households in London).
Within this group, there are three purchasing types shown. It is described below:
– Type A. Better Cheap: This type of people has a big satisfaction on spending a small consumption. They make a limit of consumption, calculating the whole product purchasing price. (Effective purchasing / value consumption rate: 52%, rational consuming behaviour)
– Type B. Self-Bourgeois: This type of people invest freely on themselves. They put a large value for their qualitative living. (Consumption > Check the price, prefer self-rewarding consumption)
– Type C. Empty Hands: This type of people prefers one-time (quicktime) consumption, so called buying experiences. (Experience-focused consumption / e.g. movie, camping, eating out, etc.)
Sun-Young HA | Trained as an industrial design engineer at South Korea and researched about innovation research in design management at Goldsmiths, University of London. She has worked as a designer and project manager in design firms and has researched about designers’ firm performance. Sun-Young is a strategic designer, innovation management researcher, and writer.
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