Living Reference Work Entry

Handbook of Ethics, Values, and Technological Design

pp 1-19

Date: Latest Version

Design Methods in Design for Values

  • Pieter E. VermaasAffiliated withPhilosophy Department, TU Delft Email author 
  • , Paul HekkertAffiliated withDepartment of Industrial Design, Design Aesthetics, TU Delft
  • , Noëmi Manders-HuitsAffiliated withPhilosophy Department, TU Delft
  • , Nynke TrompAffiliated withDepartment of Industrial Design, Design Aesthetics, TU Delft


In this chapter we demonstrate that contemporary design methodology provides methods for design for moral values. Subsequently, we explore the methodological challenges and problems that this brings to the table. First, we show that contemporary design methods are aimed at realizing values of users and society. These values are in general not moral ones yet do include in specific cases moral values. Second, we introduce a division between user-driven methods in which it are the users who introduce the values to be designed for and designer-driven methods in which the clients and designers are introducing these values. Third, we discuss two designer-driven design methods in detail for, respectively, design in general and social design in particular: the Vision in Product design method and the Social Implication Design method. Finally, we explore the challenges and problems of design for moral values with these and other design methods. We focus specifically on the designer who, once design is recognized as design for moral values, becomes responsible for the moral values the resulting products have. We argue that in this case the designer should make the moral values of products transparent to clients and users.


Design methods Design for moral values Designer-driven design methods