Values in Design

Summary

This course targets university students and professionals who would like to become aware of how they work with values in a design and development process. Through theoretical reflections on values and practical value centered design methods, students learn how to take responsibility for which values that they implement in their designs. They will build an understanding of how technologies support or undermine other people’s values, and gain a deep understanding of how values have impacts on society, such as social patterns, increased surveillance, negative environmental impact, as well as impact of more positive kinds.

By partaking in the teaching activities the students will develop a vocabulary for arguing for the importance of making conscious and responsible choices when developing technologies. They will be introduced to and apply approaches and tools for working with values in design in intentional and practical ways, in order to become responsible and caring designers of future technologies. The course also serves as an opportunity for professionals for further development in their field of expertise, and to establish new professional networks.

To be able to participate and benefit from the course, a bachelor's degree in design, computer science, engineering or equivalent is required. The course is web-based and part-time and will be taught in English.

Admission requirements

Bachelor's degree in design, computer science, engineering or equivalent + the equivalent of English studies at the upper secondary (high school) level in Sweden, called English 6.

Selection:

credits 100%

Syllabus

Syllabus for students spring 2021

Course Code:
KD610A revision 1
Swedish name:
Värderingar i design
Level of specialisation
A1N
Main fields of study:
No main fields
Language:
English
Date of ratification:
29 January 2020
Decision-making body:
Faculty of Culture and Society
Enforcement date:
18 January 2021

Entry requirements

Bachelor's degree in design, computer science, engineering or equivalent + the equivalent of English studies at the upper secondary (high school) level in Sweden, called English 6.

Specialisation and progression relative to the degree regulations

The course is not part of a Major Subject.

Purpose

Scholars in a wide range of disciplines have acknowledged that values are integrated in technical systems, products and services, intentionally or unintentionally. New technologies, such as AI, algorithms, tracking devices, social network platforms etc., have the potential to either strengthen or undermine values. “Values” are here referred to as the principles and beliefs that influence one’s choices, judgements, behaviours and actions in all areas of private and public life.

Designers and developers ought to take responsibility for their own values. They ought to understand how technical systems, products and services support or undermine other people’s values and their impact on society, such as social patterns, increased surveillance, negative environmental impact, as well as impact of more positive kinds.

The course targets designers and developers of technical systems, products and services, who are interested in understanding and reflecting upon their own role in a design and development process where they negotiate and incorporate values. This an opportunity for professionals for further development in their field of expertise, and to establish new professional networks.

By partaking in the course, students will develop a vocabulary for arguing for the importance of making conscious and responsible choices when developing technical systems, products and services. They will be introduced to and apply approaches and generative tools for working with values in design in intentional and practical ways, in order to become responsible and caring designers of future technologies.

Contents

The course is divided into three parts:

I) Introduction to theories and approaches for identifying and describing values in design, and to generative design tools for intentionally and practically design with values.

II) A design project where theories and approaches related to values in design are integrated and applied where relevant. The design project can be conducted individually or together with peers. The students may choose to work on a case developed by themselves, and/or a case that is connected to their professional role.

III) A critical reflection upon the outcome of a design and development process, including an evaluation of short- and long-term consequences of a design.

Throughout the course the students engage in peer-review and group critique sessions and provide feedback on each other’s work.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, the student shall be able to:

  1. Identify and describe values in design from a theoretical perspective.
  2. Apply approaches and generative design tools that intentionally and practically integrate values in a design.
  3. Analyse and reflect upon how values are embedded in the outcome of a design and development process.
  4. Critically evaluate a design project with a focus on values, and imagine a new direction for the design.
When the above learning objectives are met, a Pass (G) is given.

Learning activities

The course is web-based and part-time. The teaching activities are hosted on an online platform for collaborative digital learning. This is also where communication between students and lecturers takes place and where student projects are uploaded. Teaching and learning activities consist of online lectures and seminars, peer-to-peer learning activities, group critique sessions, and independent work.

Assessments

Students are examined through:

  1. Written analysis of values embedded in a system, product or service (HP 3, ILO 1)
  2. Report presenting the design project, including a description of the values that serve as a foundation for the design, and a designer’s value manifesto (HP 5, ILO 1, 2, 3)
  3. Video scenario presenting the outcome of the design project in the form of a prototype, describing how values come at play (HP 3, ILO 2, 3)
  4. Written peer-review and critical evaluation of a design project with a focus on values. (HP 4, ILO 3, 4).
Assignments 1-3 are conducted individually. Assignment 4 is conducted in group.

Grading system

Fail (U) or Pass (G).

Course literature and other teaching materials

  • Friedman, Batya & Hendry, David (2019). Value sensitive design : shaping technology with moral imagination. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Additional readings provided by the teachers.

Course evaluation

The University provides all students who are participating in, or have completed, a course to express their experiences and views on the course through a course evaluation which is organized at the end of the course. The university will collate the course evaluations and provide information about their results and any actions prompted by them. The results shall be made available to the students. (HF 1:14).

Interim rules

When a course is no longer given, or the contents have been radically changed, the student has the right to re-take the examination, which will be given twice during a one-year period, according to the syllabus which was valid at the time of registration.

Contact

The education is provided by the Faculty of Culture and Society at the School of Arts and Communication.

Further information

Application

18 January 2021 - 06 June 2021 50% Distance (Malmö) Application code: mau-12114

National application round

Tuition fees

for non-EU students only

First instalment: 57000 SEK
Full tuition Fee: 57000 SEK

Application deadline 15 October

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