Abstract

Many of the professional organisations within the various fields of design activity publish professional codes of ethics in one form or another. This paper opens up a discussion of the role which professional codes might play in relation to the ethicality of design activity. A framework for understanding the roles and functions which professional codes may play is constructed using concepts drawn from the literature on professional codes. The content of fourteen professional codes issued by design organisations is presented and examined. There does appear to be a broad consensus across the content of the codes examined. However, the matter of whether this consensus reflects a profession-wide convention is debatable. The paper concludes with a discussion presenting possible critiques of the nature and operation of professional codes within the context of design, and reflecting on some of the implications of this analysis for how we might reasonably think about the relationship between professional codes and bigger questions of the ethicality of design.

Keywords:

design organisations; ethics; professional codes; professional ethics

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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 25th, 12:00 AM

Examining the Professional Codes of Design Organisations

Many of the professional organisations within the various fields of design activity publish professional codes of ethics in one form or another. This paper opens up a discussion of the role which professional codes might play in relation to the ethicality of design activity. A framework for understanding the roles and functions which professional codes may play is constructed using concepts drawn from the literature on professional codes. The content of fourteen professional codes issued by design organisations is presented and examined. There does appear to be a broad consensus across the content of the codes examined. However, the matter of whether this consensus reflects a profession-wide convention is debatable. The paper concludes with a discussion presenting possible critiques of the nature and operation of professional codes within the context of design, and reflecting on some of the implications of this analysis for how we might reasonably think about the relationship between professional codes and bigger questions of the ethicality of design.

 

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