Today an exiting new institute has opened: The Delft Design for Values (DD4V) institute! The DD4V institute brings together practices and expertise in the field of design for values. It integrates my modest work with those of many others, and expand the existing. As such in the new institute we provide mechanism for the incorporation of moral and social values in technologies through their design processes. Research activities of DD4V will be organised along four themes: Value operationalisation, value assessment, value dynamics, and value conflict.
In the broad scope of design, social responsibility and engagement is increasingly important. People hold us, designers, accountable when things go wrong. From this observation, we are challenged by many, often implicit, questions: How to design inclusively, and/or when to design for all? How to keep innovation, innovative design, accessible for all? When do designers act for certain actor groups; blurring into the other or not? And for urban and architectural designers in particular, how to keep places connected an/or differentiate in the networks of the city and its citizens? How to serve the public interest and/or when to serve certain communities? How to design sustainable, and what is sustainable? As designers, we are joining in safekeeping all these values and values as such. By matter of course the necessity to design in an ethical way is highly relevant, as it always has been. Yet now, in our pro-active popular societies, designing in various actor-networks with a cloud of possibilities, and facing the ability of communities to create simultaneously and express opinions in an extremely fast temp, the explication of values is more relevant then before.
Therefore, the Delft Design for Values institute is a great and most welcome new meeting place for the embodiment of values in design, the generation of values through design, and the mitigation of value failures in design. Built upon decades of Delft experience, the institute underlines the role of Delft as a major partner in the design for values debate and implementation, and intensifies collaborations with other universities and industry, both in The Netherlands and abroad.