IDC Design Seminar Series - DESIGN ETHICS

01 Jun 2021 - 30 Jul 2021 15 Jun (3PM), 30 Jul (10AM) Online sessions (Zoom)

Join us in this online series of IDC Design Seminars on Design Ethics, brought to you by the SUTD-MIT International Design Centre (IDC).

Addressing Moral Values in Engineering Design I.R. (Ibo) van de Poel

Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Professor in Ethics and Technology
School of Technology, Policy and Management
Delft University of Technology

Date: 15 June 2021, Tuesday, 3PM
Venue: Online / ZOOM

Zoom link:
Meeting ID: 919 0547 1325
Passcode: ?X%c3MGG

During the design process, engineers may encounter a range of possible ethical issues. I will discuss and reflect on several of such issues through a number of examples. I will then argue that such ethical issues can be more systematically and pro-actively addressed by designing technologies from the start for certain moral values. I will discuss some of the challenges that designing for values bring and briefly indicate some of the approaches and tools that have been developed over time to address such challenges.

Speaker Bio

Ibo van de Poel is Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Professor in Ethics and Technology. He did a master in Philosophy of Science, Technology and Society (with a propaedeutic exam in Mechanical Engineering) and obtained a PhD in Science and Technology Studies from the University of Twente before he came to Delft in 1998.

Van de Poel's research focuses on several themes in the ethics and philosophy of technology: responsible innovation, design for values, the moral acceptability of technological risks, engineering ethics, moral responsibility in research networks, ethics of new emerging technologies, and the idea of new technology as social experiments. In 2010, he received a prestigious VICI grant from the Netherlands Organization on Scientific Research (NWO) for his research on new technologies as social experiments, and in 2018 he received an ERC Advanced Grant on Design for changing values: a theory of value change in sociotechnical systems.

Value Sensitive Design: Engaging Moral and Technical Imaginations

Batya Friedman

The Information School
University of Washington

Date: 7 July 2021, Wednesday, 10.30AM (rescheduled from 1 June 2021)
Venue: Online / ZOOM

Zoom link:
Meeting ID: 978 5306 1940
Passcode: #a2g0FP3

*Please have some paper and pencil ready for the design activity.

Tools and technologies are fundamental to the human condition. They do no less than create and structure the conditions in which we live, express ourselves, enact society, and experience what it means to be human. They are also the result of our moral and technical imaginations. Yet, with our limited view, it is not at all obvious how to design tools and technology so that they are more likely to support the actions, relationships, institutions, and experiences that human beings care deeply about - a life and society of human flourishing. Value Sensitive Design (VSD) was developed as an approach to address this challenge from within technical design processes.

In this talk, I will provide an introduction to Value Sensitive Design, foregrounding human values in the technical design process. My remarks will situate VSD within a broader discourse on sociotechnical systems and present VSD's core theoretical constructs. Then I will introduce some methods from VSD, along the way demonstrating two methods - Envisioning Cards and value scenarios - in the context of a design activity. Next I'll discuss some current examples of applying VSD, first to the design of robots for healthcare and then to the invisible materiality of information technology. In doing so, I will explore technology trends at the cusp of the 21st century from a VSD perspective. Thinking longer-term and systemically, I will bring forward a range of potential challenges and design opportunities in light of these trends. My comments will engage individual lives, society writ large, what it means to be human, the planet and beyond.

Speaker Bio

Batya Friedman is Professor in the Information School and holds adjunct appointments in the Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering, and the Department of Human Centered Design and Engineering at the University of Washington. She co-directs the Value Sensitive Design Lab and the UW Tech Policy Lab.

Batya pioneered value sensitive design (VSD), an approach to account for human values in the design of information systems. First developed in human-computer interaction, VSD has since been used in architecture, civil engineering, computer security, energy, human-robotic interaction, information management, legal theory, and moral philosophy, transportation and urban planning. She is currently working on multi-lifespan design and on methods for envisioning - imagining new ideas for leveraging information systems to shape our futures. Voices from the Rwanda Tribunal is a first project in this multi-lifespan design research program. Her 2019 MIT Press book co-authored with David Hendry provides a comprehensive account of value sensitive design and is titled Value Sensitive Design: Shaping Technology with Moral Imagination. In 2012 Batya received the ACM-SIGCHI Social Impact Award and the University Faculty Lecturer award at the University of Washington, in 2019 was inducted into the CHI Academy, and in 2020 received an honorary doctorate from Delft University of Technology. She received both her B.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. 

Levers for Ethics in Technology Design

Katie Shilton

Associate Professor
College of Information Studies
University of Maryland College Park

Date: 30 July 2021, Friday, 10AM
Venue: Online / ZOOM

Zoom link:
Meeting ID: 995 0256 4723
Passcode: #t4qMHfi

The values and ethics built into technological systems are gaining increasing attention. This talk will introduce the challenges of values-oriented design for technologies which are meant to be flexible, adaptable, interoperable, and global.

It will then present research on two salient values for software design - privacy and fairness - with a focus on how designers can incorporate checks and levers for these values in their design practice. And it will use these values to explore bigger questions of what, or whose, values shape technology, and the role that designers have in that conversation.

Speaker Bio

Katie Shilton's research explores ethics and policy for the design of information technologies. She is the Pl of the PERVADE project, a multi-campus collaboration focused on big data research ethics. Other projects include developing privacy-sensitive search for email collections; analysing ethical cultures in computer security research; and building tools to facilitate ethics discussions in mobile application development. Her work has been supported by a Google Faculty Award and multiple awards from the U.S. National Science Foundation.



IDC Design Seminar Series: Check out past seminar recordings.