Understanding Values

Design is never neutral. There are always (un)intended consequences that can be social, ethical or political in nature. This course aims to bring awareness of how to deal with the complex global issues the world is facing. Helping students to master the different nuances and start embracing them. Learning to design with intent and a sense of moral responsibility.

This course is about preparing designers to deal with the complex issues they will face in a world full of unprecedented challenges.

Choices made in the design process always have consequences, both positive and negative, depending on your perspective or interests. The products, services and systems we design will need to be inclusive and sustainable. This course aims to provide understanding of the complexity inherent to this challenge.

Learn to incorporate ethics and different stakeholder values in the design process. Identify and map-out these values in the context of a new product-service system. Consider who or what benefits from - or is harmed by – this innovation.  Learn to analyse and explain possible value conflicts, with the goal of defining a desirable value proposition for all stakeholders, which includes the environment.

Develop skills in systems thinking and value flow modelling. Get exposed to a mindset, methods and tools to reflect on values, consequences and the responsibility of being a designer. Ultimately, create a personal code of conduct for your professional future.

This course is useful in Design Project 2 and other future projects where values play a role in design.

Course Coordinator's perspective

“I am proud that students get to consider the ethics of designing under different lenses so early in the curriculum. Often you don’t see this until the master’s programme, but that they get it so prominently in their first year is important.”

Lise Magnier

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