Bridging the 'Theory-Practice Gap': Design-Experts on Capability Sensitive Design

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Many of the choices that designers and engineers make during a design process impact not only the functionality, usability, or aesthetics of a technology, but also impact the values that might be supported or undermined via the technology design. Designers can actively design for values, and this awareness has led to the development of various ‘ethics by design' approaches. One such approach is capability sensitive design (CSD). Thus far, CSD is only developed from a theoretical-ethical point of view. This article aims to bridge the theory-practice gap by entering into dialogue with various design-experts on ethics by design in general and CSD in particular. An empirical study, consisting of thematic interviews with nine design-experts, was conducted in order to explore design-experts' experiences with designing for values, what they regard as the strengths and weaknesses of CSD, and if CSD could be of practical use to their design (research) practice.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Technoethics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021


  • Capability Approach
  • Capability Sensitive Design
  • Capability Theory
  • Design Approach
  • Design for Values
  • Design-Experts
  • Ethics by Design
  • Martha Nussbaum
  • Value Sensitive Design


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