WORKSHOP at RtD 2019 - 19-22 March 2019, Delft

Workshops - Tuesday 19 March 9:00-18:00
Conference Registration & Drinks - Tuesday 19 March 18:00

Call for Participation

What happens when we assume that “smart” things have their own needs, desires, and perhaps even have an ethical agenda? What outcomes may result from a RTD workshop framed around ethical concerns - where such things are participating in the workshop activities next to us? Could we then reimagine ways to critically address responsibility in data-enabled RTD practices that move past the ‘human versus nonhuman’ divide?

Building upon critical and participatory design traditions in RTD practice, and informed by thing-centered design methods, this workshop proposes an approach to doing ‘ethics through design’ that involves an active interplay among humans and “smart” things in the shaping of responsible encounters. Contemporary ethical issues in design such as online privacy, ethics of AI, algorithmic discrimination, environmental sustainability, and care will be discussed and materially engaged with throughout the workshop.

To carry this out, human workshop participants will engage with ‘smart’ things as co-participants and will have the opportunity to bring their own consumer or RTD artifact to the workshop. Collectively, we will speculate and experiment with ways to engage ethics with things and generate design scenarios that critically address our responsibility in such encounters.

On this premise, the envisioned outcomes of this workshop will be methods, guidelines, and frameworks for engaging ethics and responsibility in data-enabled RTD practices that can both complement and be applied within existing IoT and IxD design and development, as well as suggesting more radical alternatives to human-centered design methods.

Submission Instructions

We invite participants to contribute to the workshop with a position paper of 1-2 pages, in no particular format, by introducing the following:

  • Motivation for attending the workshop

  • Background about your practice, related work and ethical concerns

  • Artefact for workshop & rationale behind it

  • Participants bio (150 words maximum)

Please email this document, no later than February 22nd to encounteringethics@gmail.com

We will notify by March 8th, 2019. As there are limited spots for RTD workshops, we encourage interested participants to meet the recommended deadline.


We welcome RTD practitioners working on design cases, prototype development and theoretical, critical and legal perspectives across academia and industry to participate in our workshop. We invite researchers and practitioners engaging with speculative and critical design, STS, feminist technoscience, care-ethics, non-human ethnography, environmental humanities, as well as specific areas of responsible and ethical design including online privacy, cyber-security, ethics of AI, algorithmic discrimination, digital addiction, and sustainability to consider how decentering the human in design can inform ethical design practices and applications.