Big Data for Greater Housing!

To understand what people really want from their housing, you have to observe them in their natural habitats.

New Byt Lab offers interactive insights into domestic life in your market, so architects, planners, and developers can foresee what lies ahead and construct accordingly.


New Byt Lab supports architectural intelligence “soup to nuts,” from field work and scholarly research to concept development and design proposals, to post-occupancy observation and analysis. This involves many social science building blocks and buzzwords: empirical investigation, critical analysis, cognitive science, phenomenology, and sensemaking (to name a few).

At the core of our approach is New Byt™ Analytics. This is the innovation that lets our clients confirm or deny insights generated through Big Data collection and drill down to the real motivations that prompt customer behavior.


Byt, loosely translated as daily life, is a Russian ethnographic term relating to the totality of everyday behavior. It refers to every aspect of daily life: food, clothing, domestic material culture, and family life. It can also be understood as the English word "lifestyle," with the additional sense of the ideological underpinnings of quotidian behavior and material culture. Throughout the twentieth century, Russian authorities and architects made byt a territory for experimentation. Byt reformers and theoreticians, an amorphous group that included philosophers, cultural critics, writers, artists, household advisers, architects, and party functionaries of various sorts, imagined almost any conceivable formulation of daily life, usually with the goal of realizing communism in Soviet society. New Byt Lab has its origins in these efforts and, although in no way connected to Soviet ideology, we continue take make the everyday our area of investigation.


For architects, developers, and governments, New Byt Labs provides social science and design intelligence that enables proactive housing development strategies.

Our Architecture platform helps designers develop rational approaches to innovation in dwelling design and to test new schemes through prototyping and phenomenological analysis.

Our Development platform offers the means to qualitatively assess architecture - already built or only proposed - by making sense of the complex, subtle, often unconscious ways in which customers interact with their surroundings.

Our Government platform helps housing authorities maximize their investments by providing key decision makers with the empirical evidence and expert analysis needed to choose the right strategy for the future.



The Problem

Governments and developers crave insights about housing and increasingly rely on big data and analytics to provide them. But big data and standard market research tools can't reveal occupants' true expectations and experiences.

The Solution

The human sciences - anthropology, sociology, political science, and philosophy - can. New Byt Lab's multidisciplinary professionals apply a human-sciences-based approach to illuminate the domestic experience. The resulting insights can transform architectural design, real estate development, organizational culture, and even family life.

An Example

In the late 1950s, the leaders of the Soviet Union wanted to modernize domestic life in order to bring the society closer to communism. The country was in the midst of an unprecedented campaign of housing construction, and the authorities wanted to explore how residential architecture could affect the mindset and behavior of its inhabitants. They commissioned the architect Nathan Osterman to develop a new kind of housing, based on principles of communal living but equipped with all the amenities of modern life. The building, completed in 1969 and called the House for New Life  (Dom Novogo Byta), was both a prototype for modern socialist housing and a laboratory for sociological investigation. Over twenty research institutes, studying all aspects of human life, from physiology to economics, collaborated to the House's development. After completion, researchers spent two years examining how residents experienced the building. Based on their findings, the authorities chose not to serially produce Osterman's prototype. Thanks to New Byt Lab-style analysis, they concluded that its shortcomings would be amplified in the experience of millions of people were it to go into mass production, frustrating citizens and wasting state resources.