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
In this series of post, we present examples of the relationship between changing values and changes in technologies, innovations and designs. These are not cases that we investigate in-depth in our project, but they do give you an idea of the relevance of our...
An interview with prof. dr. Ibo van de Poel, principal investigator of the value change research project.
The "Design for changing values" team is organizing a workshop focused on changing values in the energy sector on October 15 - 17, 2020 at TU Delft, the Netherlands. This workshop aims to bring different scholars who are interested in the dynamics of moral and social...