Ethics, methods, and responsibility in design take on different forms and have different requirements depending on the job and outcomes of each project. What is common to all design projects is that ethics, methods, and responsibility (accountability) is required. How do designers need to think through and shape accountability in our various practices. Join this panel for unique perspectives through presentations and panel discussion including Q and A with attendees.
A placemaking study in Toronto, Canada is highlighting the need for Ethical Design curricula that will serve the larger context of “Design for Social Good”. In reviewing diverse theories for socially informed design practice, it is apparent that Ethical Design, specifically socially-engaged design, as a core value is largely absent in pedagogy, training, and disciplinary practices of designers. As new health, social, economic, and environmental realities of contemporary life develop, communities are emerging as the driving force for social change, including dismantling colonial practices that sustain inequities in the making of our material world. Who a designer is and is not, as well as what role and position a designer may hold in that material world, is in need of reframing. An Ethical Design framework for both education and practice is needed to ensure that future designers respect communities as a collaborative partner and valued design team member.
The paper gives deep insights in connections between settings of dying, dignity and design, shows how things affect vulnerable individuals and what influence the aesthetics of products, and the presence and absence from things have on our post-mortal society. It is an investigation of the material culture at the border of palliative care, end of life design, consumption and trend forecasting. Current lifestyles in western worlds and pre-, ad- and post-mortem styles are being reflected under aspects of the postmodern and (post-)material turn and with regard to individualization, value change, demographical change and holistic health. The research through design approach allows to transfer findings into new products for care givers, patients and relatives. The design proposals should act inside and outside medical and nursing worlds with the goal to improve awareness of dying, dignity, autonomy and self-empowerment. The work is a plea for end- of-life design as a common good.
The focus of this paper is to show how communicative interfaces and materials at end-of-life situations can be improved and how to integrate settings of dying into the common good through better, more appealing communication. The intention of the research perspective design/visual communication within the project “Settings of Dying” (SNSF project, 2020-2023), is to develop new communication materials and applications that are appropriate for a respectful communication between affected patients, their relatives and the nursing staff. Using methods that navigate between the discipline of anthropology and design, including field research, participatory observation and research through design, the investigation of the communication material will be guided by the research question on how patients and their relatives are led through a common patient journey within these communication materials and applications. The research project aims to investigate on how the method rhetoric design analysis and the prototyping of new communication materials can improve information processes within a palliative care station, and thus help to better the situation of palliative care patients and their relatives.
In designing for the common good, the designer is merely in service to the system and the capacities of design are used to negotiate new solutions and is not primarily driven by the sense of novelty or creating the experience-skin for mere profit generation. Between the year 2018 and 2019, the author worked as a design consultant for Hochbahn Hamburg A.G. in planning the new series of smart stations on the new U5 metro-line in Hamburg. With the central reference to this work, the author discusses the challenges in designing for the common good. This paper illustrates methodical considerations that may assure a more systems-centric approach to negotiate a common good (in this case metro-stations) — by working with the needs of the commons and the limitations of the policymakers. This paper discusses the structure of a methodology that is congenial to a reflective-practice in designing for the commons. The epistemic foundation of this lies in phenomenology and cybernetics second order; where phenomena are observed and analysed to create an evidence-based qualitative research practice and conversational circularity is used to work with an unpredictable system.