Bringing Digitalization Home: How Can Technology Address Housing Challenges?

Bringing Digitalization Home symposium.Digitalization—the use of automated digital technologies to collect, process, analyze, distribute, use, and sell information—is spurring fundamental change in the way housing is produced, marketed, sold, financed, managed, and lived in.

This symposium featured leading scholars and experts from academia, industry, government, and advocacy groups. Participants examined the nature and extent of technologically-driven changes and whether these changes are likely to further (or hamper) efforts to address economic, social, and environmental challenges, such as housing affordability, discrimination, and climate change. Speakers also suggested strategies that the public, private, and non-profit sectors can use to produce more equitable and environmentally sustainable housing.

Symposium Agenda (PDF)




Keynote Address

Molly Wright Steenson, Carnegie Mellon University


Welcome & Overview

David Luberoff, Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies
Christopher Herbert, Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies


Digitalization and Housing: Framing Paper for “Bringing Digitalization Home: How Can Technology Address Housing Challenges?” by David Luberoff and Chris Herbert

PANEL 1: How Is Digitalization Changing How Housing Is Designed & Built?

José Luis García del Castillo y López, Harvard Graduate School of Design
Ivan Rupnik, Northeastern University
Elizabeth Christoforetti, Harvard Graduate School of Design
Roger Krulak, Full Stack Modular, LLC


Artificial Intelligence for All: Perspectives and Outlooks on the Role of Machine Learning in Architectural Design by Jose L. García del Castillo y López

Modularization Precedes Digitalization in Offsite Housing Delivery by Ivan Rupnik, Ryan E. Smith, and Tyler Schmetterer

How Housing Digitalization May Change the Ways the Built Environment Is Designed and Built by Elizabeth Christoforetti

PANEL 2: How Is Digitalization Changing Investments in Housing?

Desiree Fields, University of California, Berkeley
Mike DelPrete, University of Colorado Boulder
Roberto Charvel, MatterScale Ventures and Vander Capital Partners
Robert Goodspeed, University of Michigan


Big Capital, Precision Technologies, and Structural Power in the US Housing Market by Desiree Fields

Emerging Models in Residential Real Estate or "How to Lose a Billion Dollars in Real Estate Tech” by Mike DelPrete

The Digital Entrepreneur’s Future Impact on the Housing Cycle by Roberto Charvel

Digitalization and the Incomplete Disruption of the US Housing Industry by Robert Goodspeed

PANEL 3: How Is Digitalization Transforming How People Find & Finance Housing?

Geoff Boeing, USC Price School of Public Policy
Vanessa Perry, The GW School of Business
Laurie Goodman, Urban Institute
Lauren Rhue, University of Maryland


PANEL 4: How Is Digitalization Transforming How Housing is Used?

Carlos Martín, Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies
Jennifer Molinsky, Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies
Ann Forsyth, Harvard Graduate School of Design
Therese Peffer, University of California, Berkeley


PANEL 5: How Is Digitalization Changing How Housing is Planned, Reviewed, and Regulated?

Nestor Davidson, Fordham University
Paul Waddell, University of California, Berkeley
Sarah Williams, MIT School of Architecture and Planning


PANEL 6: Assessing the Landscape

Shaun Donovan, Former HUD Secretary
Carol Galante, University of California, Berkeley
Seeta Peña Gangadharan, London School of Economics
Vanessa Perry, The GW School of Business


We are grateful to Qualcomm for providing the support that enabled us to host this symposium.