Human agency and system design

Seeking well-being and survival, human beings in technological environments are ‘thinking actors’: they adapt to their changing environment. Through processes of trial and error in a continuous confrontation between intention and realization, people integrate technology in day-to-day practices, implicitly or explicitly determining trust trade-offs.

As ‘thinking actors’, human beings may not be aware of the configurations in which they partake; yet, by participating, human beings help to produce and support values systems embody (Nevejan 2007). From a design perspective, it is possible to analyse and design specific values in specific contexts (Lunenfeld 2003). From the perspective of value-sensitive design, any system communicates specific values anyway (van der Hoven
2005). Networking, network, networked and network- making power affect social structures because thousands or millions of people participate; yet, few people realize the power structures they are part of (Castells 2009). The YUTPA framework sheds light on how human agency in the new space and time configurations of the network society is constructed (Giddens 1984).