Exploring the multi-faceted relationships between design and democracy in a rapidly changing world
The relation between technology and democracy has been much discussed over time. Some have argued that technology can be a threat to democracy (e.g. certain energy technologies requiring a central system of control), others have pointed out that technology may advance democracy (e.g. information technology supporting the Arab Spring). The value of democracy has not only been evoked in discussions about the impact of new technologies, but also in discussions on the process of technological innovation and who gets a say in that.
Design for democracy may thus both be outcome oriented (through adopting methods of value sensitive design) and process oriented (through adopting methods of participatory design). Democracy is also related to various other values, such as justice and transparency. Both recent developments (such as micro-targeting voters on social media platforms) and future promises (such as the smart city) make design for democracy more relevant than ever. Various researchers at Delft University of Technology work to integrate
- theories on the value of democracy and
- insights into empirical realities affecting democracy
into (the process of) design and innovation, in order to advance democracy.
Videos with Our Researchers
Industrial designer & DDfV member Nynke Tromp giving a TEDx talk on ‘disrupting democracy’:
Jeroen van den Hoven, scientific director of the DDfV Institute, talking about the importance of design for democracy in European Parliament:
News / Blogs on Design for Democracy
Events on Design for Democracy
DDfV Members Working on Design for Democracy
Projects on Design for Democracy
Selection of Publications
Tieben, Hendrik; Geng, Yan; Rossin, Francesco (Ed.): The Entrepreneurial City; 10th Conference of the International Forum on Urbanism (IFoU), International Forum on Urbanism (IFoU), Rotterdam, 2017, ISBN: 978-962-8272-33-4.
Designing For Democracy: Bulk Data and Authoritarianism Journal Article
Surveillance & Society, 15 (3), pp. 582-589, 2017.
Transparency-by-design as a foundation for open government Journal Article
Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, 11 (1), pp. 2-8, 2017.
Breaking the filter bubble: democracy and design Journal Article
Ethics and Information Technology, 17 (4), pp. 249-265, 2015, ISSN: 1572-8439.
Dordrecht, Springer, 2015, ISBN: 978-94-007-6970-0.
Education on Design for Democracy
Open online course on Open Government
If you are interested in designing for democracy, you may also be interested in the TU Delft massive open online course (MOOC) on Open Government (see the video for one of the course lectures that addressed design for values).
Master elective on Design x Democracy
‘The Deep Dive‘ is an annual elective for master students in Industrial Design Engineering that allows them to delve into a specific design issue with a combination of reading, discussion, and customized design assignments. In 2018-2019 (quarter 2) the central issue will be ‘Design x Democracy‘. DDfV member Ingrid Mulder will lead the course. From the course description:
“Together we draw a landscape of Design x Democracy (best practices and design guidelines), elaborating upon Victor Margolin’s initial distinction between design of democracy, design for democracy, and design in a democracy, towards exploring the role of participatory design as a democratic practice.”