“Design for values” (2014) – OZSW and 3TU.Ethics graduate course

Invitation / Call for applications

The Dutch Research School of Philosophy (OZSW) and 3TU.Ethics invite PhD students in philosophy to register for the course “Design for Values”, to take place in Spring 2014.

Dates of course               Monday 7 April – Friday 11 April 2014
Location                              Delft University of Technology
Application deadline: Friday 14 March 2014 (registration form for this course)

About the topic

This course discusses the main philosophical issues in relation to design for values. Topics that will be covered include the value-ladenness of technology, the approach of value sensitive design (VSD), the conceptualization and operationalization of values in design and value conflict in design. Students get to know some of the main positions in relation to philosophical issues in design for values, and the main arguments in the relevant debates. Although the focus is on the philosophical and ethical issues raised by engineering design, we will also touch upon some more fundamental philosophical issues and some methodological issues raised by design for values. This includes issues like:

  • The nature of values and the relation between values and norms
  • The possibility to embody values in technology
  • Value incommensurability, value pluralism and value monism

As part of this course, PhD students will also practice the skill: reviewing.


  • Monday morning: Lecture the value-ladenness of technology
  • Monday afternoon: Exercise and debate about value-ladenness of technology
  • Tuesday morning: Lecture Value Sensitive Design
  • Tuesday afternoon: Assignment Peer Review part 1
  • Wednesday morning: Lecture value conflict and value incommensurability
  • Wednesday afternoon: Assignment Peer review part 2 (student presentations)
  • Thursday morning: Lecture design for human well-being
  • Thursday afternoon: Assignment design for values part 1
  • Friday morning: guest lecture (tba)
  • Friday afternoon: Assignment design for values part 2 (student presentations)

Course objectives

To become acquainted with the main philosophical issues in relation to design for values.


Prof. Dr. ir. Ibo van de Poel, Delft University of Technology (I.R.vandePoel[at]tudelft.nl)


The participants are expected to read all the assigned literature, to do assignments, to actively participate in the discussions, and to give two presentations. They have to bring a draft paper they have written to the course, so that it can be reviewed by one of the other participants.


The course is free for:

  • PhD students who are a member of the 3TU.Ethics graduate school;
  • PhD students who are a member of the OZSW;
  • MSc students enrolled in the PSTS master of the University of Twente;
  • ReMa students who are a member of the OZSW

Participants who do not belong to one of these groups pay a course fee of 250 euro.

How to apply for the course?

Please fill out the form at aanmelder.nl. Please add:

  • your contact details (email address, telephone number, billing address;
  • a brief motivation for taking part in the course;
  • a description of your PhD project (max. 500 words)

In case of too many applications, the coordinator of the course will make a selection. In case of too little applications, the course will be cancelled. In case of cancellation, the OZSW will inform participants at least one week in advance. The OZSW is not responsible for any (accommodation) costs that students may have made in preparation for the course.

Important dates

The deadline for application is 14 March 2014.

Organization information

This course is coordinated by Ibo van de Poel. For further information related to the contents of this course, please contact him at the following e-mail address: I.R.vandePoel@tudelft.nl. For practical inquiries, please contact secretariaat@ozsw.nl.