Designers need ethics
Design has a huge influence on how people behave and live their lives. As designers, we are trained to solve problems and make people’s lives better. Rarely do we consider what 'better' actually is. It is important to understand that what we design is not neutral. In fact design is an inherently ethical activity. That’s why designers should know about ethics and learn to incorporate it in your design work. And for that, you’re in the right place.
A designer's ethical skills
To be able to engage with the ethical dimension of your designs, you'll need to start learning the following skills. The development of ethical skills allows designers to understand and engage with ethics within each different design project. Mastering your ethical skills will help you grow as a responsible designer.
Learn to recognise and deconstruct the scripts of existing designs. By questioning why a design is how it is, you’ll uncover the underlying intentions and world-view of its designer.
Challenge yourself to make the most ethical design possible. What would that be and how would it work? This ideation game will help you tackle ethical issues in a fun and challenging way, using bluff and creativity.
Values are an important concept in ethics. With this tool you will look at which values are relevant to your design and how your design affects them. It can help to do this exercise with different stakeholders.
This tool helps you set the ethical terms at the start of your project. Use your imagination to think of unethical situations and discuss what you’ll take responsibility for as designers.
Tap into your inner dystopian to imagine dark designs. With this tool you’ll act out design ideas to experience the ethical implications yourself. Develop your design further and discuss it within the team.
Designing is never a solitary act. Therefore it is important that everyone is on the same page. This technique guides you in a value negotiation with all stakeholders involved in order to find common ethical ground.
As a major field of philosophy, ethics has a lot of knowledge to offer. However, it can be overwhelming to start. This tool introduces you to the most commonly known theories of normative ethics, the study of ethical action.