People derive and create meaning, identity and value through things. Most of these are designed by professional designers and manufactured within a commercial framework. However, some are made by individuals for personal use, and some are made in order to exploit the capacity of objects to provoke reflexivity and convey meaning through their physical attributes as a means of communicating ideas.
Critical technical practice (CTP) is a method for developing value-sensitive design and an approach to identifying and altering philosophical assumptions underlying technical practice. Phil Agre originally proposed CTP as a means of converging technology development (in computer science) with critical reflection (in critical studies and design research) in order to expose and deconstruct hidden values and assumptions in the design of technology.
Link: Critical Technical Practice as a Methodology for Values in Design by Kirsten Boehner, Shay David, Joseph Kaye and Phoebe Sengers.
Also worth a look: Reflective Design by Phoebe Sengers, Kirsten Boehner, Shay David and Joseph Kaye.