Design for Values

The Dutch Research School of Philosophy (OZSW) and TU Delft invite PhD students and ReMa students in philosophy to register for the course Design for Values to take place from 20 – 24 September 2021.

Organizing university

TU Delft


20-24 September 2021


TU Delft, Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, Jaffalaan 5, Delft, The Netherlands

Type of activity

5-day course

Type of activity

For this activity PhD students and ReMa students can – after successful completion – earn a certificate. However, the OZSW is not accredited to reward students with credits/ECTS directly. The study load is mentioned on the certificate, which can usually be exchanged for ‘real’ credits (ECTS) at your home university. The study load for this activity is as follows: 2,5 ECTS or 5 ECTS when writing an additional essay.

Primary target group

PhD Students

If places available, also open to

2nd year ReMa students, and other interested scholars

Application/registration deadline

Please apply before 15 September 2021

About the topic

Approaches like Value Sensitive Design and ethics-by-design have become popular over the last decade to integrate values, and other moral considerations, from the start in the design and development of new technologies. This courses provides an introduction to some of the key underlying philosophical foundations and issues of such approaches. We will discuss what values are, and whether, and if so how, they can be embedded in new technologies. We will discuss in more detail how values can be conceptualised and specified, and we discuss ‘value conflict ’and ‘value change’, philosophically as well as in terms of their implications for designing technology for values.

Aim / objective

After the course participants should be able to:

  • Philosophically reflect on the relation between technology and values and to give reasoned arguments why technology can or cannot embody values (and if so how)
  • Have a key understandings of basic notions of values within philosophy and some other relevant disciplines and be able to reflect on their similarities and differences
  • Be knowledge of the main approaches to designing for values
  • Understand the difference between value conceptualisation and specification, and how these matter for designing for values
  • Be able to philosophically characterize and discuss ‘value conflict’ and ‘value change’, and understand the implications of these phenomena for designing for values


Topic 1: Values and Technology

  • Brief historical overview about thinking about values in technology in philosophy of technology
  • How to understand value embedding in technology

Topic 2: What are values?

  • How are values understood in philosophy (and other disciplines)?

Topic 3: Designing for values

  • Brief overview of Value Sensitive Design and other approaches
  • Value conceptualization and value specification

Topic 4: Value conflict

  • Types of value conflict
  • Value incommensurability and its consequences
  • Dealing with value conflict in design

Topic 5: Value change

  • Understanding value change in technology
  • Dealing with value change in design


  • All participants are asked to present their main take-aways from the course

We aim for a guest lecture on a more practical example of designing for values.


Ibo van de Poel, TU Delft is Anthoni van Leeuwenhoek Professor in Ethics and Technology. He has published on engineering ethics, the moral acceptability of technological risks, design for values, responsible innovation, moral responsibility in research networks, ethics of newly emerging technologies, and the idea of new technology as social experiment. He has currently an ERC Advanced grant on Design for changing values: a theory of value change in sociotechnical systems.

Michael Klenk, TU Delft

Steffen Steinert, TU Delft

Olya Kudina, Tu Delft

Required preparations

Active participation during the week of 20-24September  is required. Each session has a number of required readings, that participants should have read beforehand.

Certificate / credit points

2.5 ECT
It will also be possible to write an essay about the contents of this course and earn a total of 5 ECT


The course is free for PhD candidates who are a member of the 4TU Center for Ethics and Technology and/or OZSW.

The course is also free for ReMa students who are a member of the OZSW and/or 4TU Center for Ethics and Technology.

All others will pay a registration fee of €300.

Registration/application form

Please register here.

Cancellation and registration policy


Ibo van de Poel, section Ethics and Philosophy of Technology, Department of Values, Technology and Innovation, School of Technology, Policy & Management, TU Delft

Contact info