The decision was made to write a series of articles that would be an enquiry into design itself. The pieces aim to better understand several current issues within the discourse of design, these articles were published online with the hope that other members of the design community (and beyond) could find them and benefit from them. The writing is in no way directed at having all the ‘answers’; rather, they represent my current perspective on design and the world that this design has created. The best-case scenario for these articles is for ‘designer’, artists, pyschologists, etc (basically anyone) to read the articles and use them as a stepping off point to have a further discussion concerning the issue. In many ways I am hoping someone reads an article and feels like they wholeheartedly disagree because this will only start dialogue and further the field.
'The aim is not to discover an absolute finite understanding of what it is to be a designer but rather a better understanding of what kind of designer I am and what type of designer I want to avoid becoming'
Designing My Own Code of Conduct
This article explores a personal approach to design ethics. What are my ethical and moral standpoints towards designing and interacting with the world around me?
“The objects of the Code are to promote the highest standards of design and design management, for the benefit and in the best interests of members, their clients and society at large.”
– The Chartered Society of Designers
This article has personal importance; throughout numerous articles, there has been some confusion surrounding the term ‘designer’ and whether I fit into this bracket.
“As you branch out further, you’ll find your niche and be able to pass down your wisdom to a new generation of designers.”
– Nicole Krosnowski
Right(s) in Design — Written and Unwritten
By witing this article and investigating this topic, I hope to develop a more comprehensive understanding of morality and ethics in design.
“Ethical design is designing great products alongside your morals and beliefs and the principles of your business. What you create, whether a website, a marketing campaign or a product, has an effect on real people, and those effects can create ripples.”
– Carrie Sownie
Removing bias in design (You can’t)
As the title of this article indicates, there is a common discussion around avoiding bias in design. The crucial phrasing of that is the ‘removing’; before anyone can start the process to better understand the biases they posses they must know that biases are impossible to remove. Whether implicit, explicit, conscious or unconscious, they are inherent to human beings and, therefore, it would be unnatural to be without them.
“You can be biased towards or against many things including ideas, cultures, individuals, race, gender, sexuality, political standpoints, social class, species, etc.”
– Interaction Design Foundation
Design-Action-Gap (Do we always do the right thing?)
The crux of this discussion is the disconnection and dissonance between what you know to be the action you should be taking and the action you will realistically take. Furthermore, how does that apply to designers? This begs the question: do designers know what they need to do? Or equally what they should do?
“You know what to do, but you can’t seem to make yourself do it right.”
– Mel Robbins
Education vs Literacy (Does being educated and literate make you a designer?)
There is a crucial difference between being a student of design as Potter suggests and simply being an individual studying design in an institution (student). Therefore, this starts a discussion concerning the difference between being educated and literate in design. The hope is that through better understanding which of these titles I possess I will better situate myself within design and therefore where the work/artefacts I produce are situated.
“By the word ‘student’, therefore, I mean those who still question what they are doing, and ask why”.
– Norman Potter
I do not have a white creative saviour complex… (…Do I?)
In this article the aim is to explore who designers really are. As a profession they have a power that many others could not imagine, with the ability to change peoples lives all over the globe. Whether that is for the better or for the worse is entirely up to the designer…
“You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”
– Harvey Dent (Batman: The Dark Knight)
Rules to break the rules (Understanding the rules to break them)
We make assumptions on a daily basis. A concept that has been discussed previously is the biases and assumptions made by designers. However, what about the assumptions made about the design process and industry itself?
“Gangsters can agree on a code of behaviour, but designers can’t. Crime is more organised than design”.
– Mike Monteiro