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Values in Design

Lenny van Onselen

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values

Sacrifices

Last week, I followed a discussion on the sacrifices people make for gaining a PhD. I was shocked. I did not share their feelings as for me it was such a dream to pursue a PhD that I do not feel like I am sacrificing everything. Another person who had similar feelings her/his comments were used as he/she was blaming others for sharing their sacrifices. I did see it differently.

I think this is a matter of perception and maybe your values? Some time ago you have made the decision to pursue a PhD. If in doing so you follow intrinsically motivated values, such as stimulation or curiosity, you might not feel strongly in making sacrifices. Others might be pushed by others (e.g. power of parents or profs) or pulled by extrinsically motivated values (e.g. achievement). Of course, these are valid values, but they are anxiety based. These might give you a feeling of making sacrifices all the time.

My advice is not to focus  Continue reading “Sacrifices”

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Designer Identity

Today, I participated in an (semi-)international seminar for Industrial Design Engineering programs of University of Applied Sciences. I joined a session on Identity Education. We shared how identity education played a role in our programs and what questions we had that we wanted to tackle in this session. As an answer to these questions, we created a vision on how identity support could be for 2025. We envisioned a student who steered in a cabriolet through an ever-changing landscape full of challenges.

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Remarkable for me, was Continue reading “Designer Identity”

Being creative versus earning a living

Making a living from your craft is a challenge. You are no longer focussing on your craft solely. Being creative and contributing to a better world are opposing values to earning a living and building a public image, values you need to pursue as (senior) employee or entrepreneur. Jacob Waites recommends to shut down the computer and keep making stuff by hand. Underlining this story is a typical value conflict experienced by many designers. Read the full blog here.

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The Anecdote

This how it all started a long time a go, when my PhD was just a seed.

As junior I worked as freelance consultant. One value I hold dear, is sustainability. Working on free projects, I could pursue this value. However, to get food on the table, I had to accept projects that had nothing to do with sustainability. After a discussion with a client about considering sustainability in the project or not, I became frustrated. I realized later, I was dealing with two opposing values. I lacked tools to effectively deal with this value difference and as a result I quit my freelance business.

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Lecture on Value-Sensitive Design

Given by J.v.d.Hoven from Delft University of Technology

Figuur values map

Observing an interview

Observing, purely observing, a researcher taking an interview. Educational. What did I learn?

  • The hour is gone before you know it
  • Opportunities for probing are so easily missed
  • It is not a monologue; it is a conversation
  • Repeat, summarize and probe
  • People speak abstract and in metaphors
  • Making a person angry helps (to a certain limit of course)

Ok. Interesting to learn more about open interviewing. But I also learned something else…  Continue reading “Observing an interview”

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