Values as hypotheses: design, inquiry, and the service of values

Title: Values as hypotheses: design, inquiry, and the service of values
Format: Journal Article
Publication Date: October 2015
Published In: Design Issues
Publisher MIT Press

Editors’ Summary: "For all designers, no matter what methods or processes they use, values are essential. Nassim JafariNaimi, Lisa Nathan, and Ian Hargraves take on this crucial topic in their article “Values as Hypotheses: Design, Inquiry, and the Service of Values.” They refute the separation of values and action, arguing instead that values are to be discovered and affirmed within action. Following philosopher John Dewey’s ideas, the authors posit that values are hypothetical until they are confirmed through design actions. They refute the belief that moral values are either unchangeable truths or “local expressions of individual and group preferences,” favoring instead a philosophy of plurality that lets values emerge from pragmatic encounters with situations. Their approach is an extremely helpful response to the sticky question of whether values that are pre-ordained and fixed can be integrated into design practice.”


Design Issues. 31. Issue 4. 91 - 104. ISSN 1531-4790.

Related Departments:
  • School of Literature, Media, and Communication