PhD Student in Information Science at University of Colorado Boulder
Next Steps for Value Sensitive DesignAlan Borning and Michael Muller. 2012. Next steps for value sensitive design. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’12). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 1125–1134. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/2207676.2208560
SummaryBorning and Muller engage in a critique of Value Sensitive Design (VSD), proposed by Friedman, Kahn Jr., and Borning between 2003 and 2006. In particular, they critique VSD for overclaiming by being too "broad and oversweeping" (pg. 1). They critique (1) the notion of universal values; (2) the suggested completeness of value lists; (3) the lack of focus on participant voices; and (4) the lack of reflexivity on the part of researchers. They engage in these critiques to position VSD as beneficial to its adoption in research moving forward.
Universal vs. Culturally Specific ValuesBorning and Muller argue that the debate about universal values has been ongoing in philosophy for milenia. They argue that VSD's adoption that some values are universal, though may be practiced in culturally-specific, ways, is problematic given (1) the unanswered philosophical debate around universality and (2) the belief of universal values having historically led some groups and cultures to believe themselves superior.
Borning and Muller suggest VSD take a "pluralistic position" and state universality is contested and VSD cannot claim to have the answer. They also propose that universal vs. cultural value positions have little affected on most design projects.