Designing for Values

If we were to design a technology from scratch, how could we design it in a way that it preserves the values we hold dear? Can we, for example, avoid the Collingridge Dilemma (see collection…) ? How can we systematically codify these values and translate them into design requirements? These questions, and more, will be answered in this week's lectures, where we will be discussing 'Designing for Values'  also known as  Value Sensitive Design (VSD).

We will briefly cover the origins of VSD, and advantages of this approach. Then we will cover a framework for implementing VSD in practice, namely using the Values Hierarchy matrix. The Values Hierarchy Matrix explicitly operationalises Values, Norms and Design Criteria (from top to bottom, in that order)



With respect to Responsible Innovation, VSD offers a framework for stakeholders to express their values, and try to design operational criteria in a way that respects those values. Since it is visual and explicit, all parties can freely debate and negotiate, facilitating a consensus. From experience in policy studies, it is also found that consensus-building through participation is an important process that increases the acceptance of the final outcome.