Designing for Changing Values
How to Deal with Value Change in Sociotechnical System Design
Not value neutral
A key insight from philosophy of technology is that technological artifacts and sociotechnical systems are not value neutral, but support or inhibit certain values. Several philosophical accounts for understanding the embedding of values in technological artifacts have been proposed and approaches like Value Sensitive Design, Design for Values and Responsible Innovation have been established for integrating values into technical design.
A theoretical blind spot
A blind spot is, however, the possibility of value change after a sociotechnical system has been designed. For example, when many of our current energy and transportation systems were designed sustainability was not yet a central value, and we are now struggling to incorporate this value into these systems. Progress in the field is currently inhibited by the lack of a philosophical theory of value change in sociotechnical systems.
Better design strategies
This project fills the gap by developing such a theory. It moves beyond the state of the art by proposing a dynamic rather than a static account of values, by developing insights in the dynamics of value change, by extending analysis about the embedding of values in technical artefacts to sociotechnical systems and by developing design strategies that aim at designing sociotechnical systems that can better deal with value change.
Recent Project News
Written by Ibo van de Poel In 1968 an ad hoc committee of the Harvard Medical School proposed criteria for brain death. Keulartz et al. (2002: 16) describe this introduction of the notion of ‘brain death’ as a redefinition of the notion of death with far-reaching...
Written by: Ibo van de Poel An often discussed example of value change is the change in sexual morality due to the introduction of the birth control pill. This is often seen as a typical example of a value or moral change. For example, van der Burg (2003: 14)...
Dennis Gedge and Sarah Junaid, both engineers, have attended fPET 2023 and wrote a review of this conference. The reviews discuss the special track at fPET 2023 on value change, which was a collaboration between fPET and the ERC project 'Design for Changing Values'....