Inderscience Publishers

The reflexive designer - a method for sustainable IT development

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An increasing diffusion of IT in almost all aspects of our daily lives in modern western societies raises questions about; how IT is done and what the effects are on social sustainability. In this paper, it is argued that we need to consider these issues during 'the becoming', instead of tackling them in retrospect and relate such a view closer to the work practices of IT designers in order to take sustainability aspects into genuine consideration. In addition, it is argued that the link in between is the elements of negotiation, that is, to acknowledge the process of defining the objectives for what is considered to be social sustainability and what is considered to be the desired result of technology development. A practical method of doing this and as such enhance IT design is put forward; reflexive design, where critical reflection and constructive action is framed as design principles.

Keywords: ICT development, information technology, communications technology, reflexive design, critical reflection, constructive action, western society, social sustainability, work practices, negotiation, designers, design principles, sustainable society, sustainable development

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