Abstract

Despite recognizing that ethics is integral to design, and despite awareness that design brings about risks and undesirable side and after-effects, design ethics remains critically under-developed. What is design ethics? How should one broach an area as vast as design ethics? In this article, I examine three discourses that have been commonly used to engage—and to provoke—moral reasoning, awareness, and action in design. They are namely, technology, sustainability, and responsibility. Within the defined area of each discourse, I examine a limited set of debates and issues that are relevant to design ethics today. Through this critical analysis, I raise new questions and issues for design ethics. Subsequently, I suggest how a theoretically robust design ethics ought to engage with the concepts and categories of applied ethics on the one hand, and on the other, to condition this engagement with the domain-specific interests, concerns and experiences of design.

Keywords:

Design; Ethics; Technology; Responsibility

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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Jun 17th, 12:00 AM

From Afterthought to Precondition: re-engaging Design Ethics from Technology, Sustainability, and Responsibility

Despite recognizing that ethics is integral to design, and despite awareness that design brings about risks and undesirable side and after-effects, design ethics remains critically under-developed. What is design ethics? How should one broach an area as vast as design ethics? In this article, I examine three discourses that have been commonly used to engage—and to provoke—moral reasoning, awareness, and action in design. They are namely, technology, sustainability, and responsibility. Within the defined area of each discourse, I examine a limited set of debates and issues that are relevant to design ethics today. Through this critical analysis, I raise new questions and issues for design ethics. Subsequently, I suggest how a theoretically robust design ethics ought to engage with the concepts and categories of applied ethics on the one hand, and on the other, to condition this engagement with the domain-specific interests, concerns and experiences of design.

 

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