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
Steffen Steinert and Tristan de Wildt of the Value Change Team, together with Steven Umbrello, are putting together a special issue on Designing for Value Change for the journal Prometheus. Call for Papers A key insight from the philosophy of technology is that...
‘Modelling Values in Agents, Technologies & Institutions’ – a Session at Social Simulation FesT 2021
Members of ValueChange team, together with a colleague form the University of Manchester are organizing a session on Modeling Values in Agents, Technology, and Institutions at the Social Simulation FesT 2021, on March 18, 2021. Session Description and Call for...
The Value Change team is organizing an international online workshop series on Explaining Value Change. On multiple dates in April and May 2021, international experts will discuss fundamental questions regarding our understanding of the phenomenon of value change....