What we do
The DDfV Institute serves as a portal and booster for design for values research, education, outreach and co-creation at Delft University of Technology. It aims at
- making visible and accessible what TU Delft has to offer,
- promoting internal and external collaborations, and
- advancing knowledge, methods & best practices
in the area of design for values. More concretely the DDfV Institute undertakes activities in the areas of:
- research: funding & organization of academic events, funding of seed projects, visiting scholars
- education: PhD courses, minors, MOOCs, masterclasses for practitioners, Fundamentals Lecture Series for students & researchers
- collaboration: collecting best practices & stimulating learning between faculties / application domains / values / design traditions (e.g. through ‘playground meetings‘)
- acquisition: research consultancy, facilitating grant applications
- outreach: online portal; public events; responses to public debates
In these ways the DDfV Institute works advancing design for values as a way to realize responsible innovation.
Activities of the Delft Design for Values Institute are organized along four themes:
To design for values designers should be able to translate values into technological norms and design requirements. For values that have for long been adopted in technology, such as efficiency and safety, designers have sufficient tools and practices for making this translation. For values that more recently became accepted, such as sustainability and inclusiveness, such tools and practices are becoming increasingly available too. For newer values, such as privacy and autonomy, research needs to be done about how to translate them into norms and design requirements.
Designers have ample methods for addressing conflicts between technical design requirements, as say between costs and safety measures in road design. Within design for values, designers should also be able to resolve such conflicts on the level of values, as when, for instance, the way in which we given meaning to privacy of personal medical records conflicts with making those records available for epidemiological analyses as part of our effort to realise health. Methods for dealing with such value conflicts should be developed in a way that they can be taught to future designers.
In the case of more long-lasting products and technologies, such as buildings and infrastructure, design for values will be confronted with the phenomena that new values may emerge in society and that existing values may change their meaning for users. Think of the value of sustainability in architecture and the value of trust in the context of internet services. Research should make these value dynamics understandable and provide ways to anticipate to it in design for values.
To demonstrate that design for values is possible, tools should be developed to assess if a design that is meant to realise certain values X, Y and Z is indeed meeting that goal. Also such designs should make transparent to users and society that they are meant to realise the values X, Y and Z. An option is to start an ethics lab to test design for values and carry out the value assessments with users.