Some systems are meant to last for decades...

What design strategies can we use to deal with value change?

Some systems are meant to last for decades...

How do we design them now so that they also meet the values of our (grand)children?

Some systems are meant to last for decades...

Can we enhance the ability of socio-technical systems to adapt to value change?

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

Program & registration for workshop ‘Machines of Change: Robots, AI and Value Change’ now available

Program & registration for workshop ‘Machines of Change: Robots, AI and Value Change’ now available

During the Machines of Change: Robots, AI and Value Change workshop, to be held from 1-3 February 2022 at Delft University of Technology, we will explore how the deployment of AI and robots leads to value change and how we can study value change, as a phenomenon, via these technologies. You can now register if you are interested in participating. Key note speakers are Arianna Betti, John Danaher and Bertram F. Malle. The full program for this workshop, with all abstracts of the papers presented, is now also available.

read more

Set-up of the project

Research Lines

Within our project we pursue six research lines: