Cornell University
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Designing Technologies for Social Impact

INFO 4240

Semester: Fall

Credits: 3

Instructor: P. Sengers.

Interested in making a social impact through designing technology?
The social impact of technologies is typically thought about fairly late, if ever, in the design process.  Indeed, it can be difficult at design time to predict what effects technologies will have.  Nevertheless, design decisions can inadvertently "lock in" particular values early on. 
In this course, we will draw on science & technology studies, technology design, and the arts to analyze the values embodied in technology design and to design technologies to promote positive social impact. What social and  cultural values do technology designs consciously or unconsciously promote?  To what degree can social impact be "built into" a technology?  How can we take social and cultural values into account in design?   

Technical background is not needed for this course.