Sabrina Hauser

Sabrina Hauser

Design Researcher with an interest in the ethics of design practice. Her PhD research was about bridging postphenomenology and interaction design research.

Location Vancouver, BC Canada


  • Thanks for your reply. You're saying nudging is a form of control and therefore not moral, but traffic lights or policing are also a form of control and needed.
    You are right, the world is complex! Forms of control are all around us and some of it may seem ok and some may not or we may change our mind depending on how we look at a situation. However, giving...

  • Nice comment! Thanks @KeithMcGraw

  • Hi @DouglasMcDonell, thanks for your comment. What if you think about speed bumps on streets in front of schools though? Those are I guess not moral, but we still have them so people cannot speed where a lot of young children walk across the street. What do you think?
    There are things that many feel are ok to have although they force or nudge us to do things...

  • this touches on how hard and complicated it can be for designer's to choose what to do with their designs!

  • I think an additional important point (besides many others) is that the introduction of mobile and smart phones has entirely changed our personal communication including things like when we 'expect' to hear back from someone (often immediately, or when we see they have 'read' our messages).

  • Totally! Think of countries that block entire internet sites for their entire population!

  • Great post, thanks @GuillermoGranda
    I really like thinking about how the design interventions in and around cities have been changing the way people behave in and around cities. Transportation is a great example!

  • Thanks @RosaStrube for the very insightful post. Indeed, it makes a difference whether we know we are being steered towards a behaviour or choice or not!

  • Hi Brian,
    I think you can look at this from different points of view. From your own (end user) perspective you may not care about the fact that you might be bringing back the trolley for the $ saves others from doing it. But looking at this from let's say a designers perspective or the grocery shop owner or the community of people that go shopping at the same...

  • Hi Peter,
    of course solar energy is a great option but I'd like to push you to think that with making the energy usage seemingly have less impact people could feel encorage in using even more energy. How about if we to entirely reduce the use of energy? What if users had to produce the energy that their fridge uses somehow? Curious tohear what you and other...

  • Interesting ideas!
    How about if that would be paired with a built-in restriction that you cannot open the fridge for most of the time. Maybe only 3x a day ?? :)

  • Hi Teo,
    Thanks for your comment. Actually, what you say designers should do is in fact what they do or at least try to. The way technologies are designed in most cases is through user-centered design in which a lot of time is spent in studying the future users of a technology in-design and develop concepts that work best for those people aiming to create a...

  • Dear Frank, Thank you for your comment. Your example is a good one and we can even think of many more ways the mobile phone has been having mediating effects on us or society as a whole. Think about the grown expectations around response times, or the fact that now with a phone you can inform people if you're being late, you can communicate with pretty much...

  • Interesting point Margaret. Generally speaking, I think in design developments it would help to have future products 'tested' by people that are outside of the intended user group to foresee at least some unintended consequences.

  • Hi Jonathan,
    interesting question. Short answer I would say is yes as the designer's intend is implemented in the enscription of the IoT device. An interesting train of thoughts to this question is that you mention the IoT and we can see that technologies more and more move into the background or away from our body to a point where they do all kinds and more...

  • Hi Lianne,
    I think it is not implemented in design thinking enough. In design the main focus is on solving problems to create a preferable future and to do that designers activities are very human- (or user) centered in that they will look at a problem of a particular user group and then study them and try to solve their problem through an intense iterative...

  • Hi Adam,
    Let me try to explain a bit more how 'world' can be understood. However, note that I am not a philosopher but a design researcher learning about postphenomenology.
    So, here is what I usually try to think about:
    technologies are mediators of human-world relations, so we have human-technology-world relations (HTWR) at play when looking at...

  • Thank you for your comment Ignacio! I'm looking forward to seeing how throughout the course you may expand on this thinking!! :)

  • Thanks for your comment Martin S. There have been related discussions around such imposed behaviours by large tech companies. A very interesting podcast episode to listen to about this is where former google design ethicist Tristan Harris talks about this with Sam Harris:

  • Definitely unintended use is something that designers can struggle with (Don Ihde speaks about the designer's fallacy). As designers, how do we foresee all those possible scenarios of our future designs? One issue is that our practice is inherently user-centred and we often don't even look beyond a particular user group when designing. However, what one group...

  • Thank you for the comment Jakub! I can't wait to hear/read how this course affects your thinking about IxD/UX design practice and outcomes even more. One thing to think about and reflect on as you go through this course can be the strong focus and assumptions around interaction and functionality in the service of use within our communities (IxD, UX, etc.).

  • Interesting point Jonathan! As a designer and design researcher looking at such a development I still feel quite 'relaxed' about technologies 'trying to do what designers do' knowing that design is a complex process that involves many different methods and produces only 'a' not 'the' solution (see e.g., Nelson & Stolterman, 2003).

  • Hi Michelle, your work is very interesting! I browsed through your website a bit and both our work overlap in a few ways. Look forward to following your path!

  • Hi all!
    I'm a PhD candidate in interaction design research at Simon Fraser University's School of Interactive Arts and Technology. I'm deeply inspired by philosophical perspectives, specifically the postphenomenological approach. My research is situated within HCI and interaction design research but I draw heavily on postphenomenology. This course will be...

  • Great introduction to an awesome course!