Designers occupy a prominent role in how products, services, and environments go from abstract idea to concretion. Given the tremendous influence design has on people's lives, the profession is fraught with ethical dilemmas. Unlike medicine, nursing, or journalism, professional design still lacks widespread principles and normative frameworks for addressing ethical issues.
Granted, institutions and individual designers have formulated codes of design ethics which may be in some cases useful to prompt discussions and reflections. Still, they rarely go beyond generalities, such as emphasising the importance of 'preventing harms' and 'respecting human rights.'
The purpose of this talk is to reflect on the things that can meaningfully guide the design activity by drawing from what justifies and legitimises design itself as a profession. Ariel's central argument will link the design profession to the promotion of others' wellbeing, whereby wellbeing is understood as living a worthwhile and purposeful life. He believes that what should occupy designers now is charting the profession's main matters of concern, its ends, its challenges, its unresolvable disputes, and its conflicts of value. Let's explore how professional ethics can help us mind the consequences of our work in a better, sustainable way!
The talk will happen live via Zoom.
This talk is worth 1 SDC study point.
Ethics, strategic design, social design, design thinking
Ariel Guersenzvaig (Argentina) is a professor of design at ELISAVA Barcelona School of Design and Engineering. His current research focuses on the ethical impact of machine intelligence on society, especially in medical applications, autonomous weapons and algorithmic justice.
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