ethics

Architecture and agency: ethics and accountability in teaching through the application of Open Building principles

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Discipline: 

Architecture & Built Environment

This paper will explore the notion of ethics in the built environment, and professional accountability, topics which are generally sidelined or given little direct consideration in teaching and practice. However, this status quo is increasingly being questioned. Built environment educators and practitioners need now to develop the intellectual and skill resources to address new questions, formulate a position, and set guidelines to be able to incorporate and make these ‘measurable’ in the performance of educators and practitioners, and for achieving a level of accountability.

Ethics and packaging design: Marketing of sugary breakfast cereals to South African children

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Discipline: 

Media & Communications Design

Child-orientated sugary breakfast cereals are a prominent product feature in the dry goods section of supermarkets. Scholars in health sciences and marketing have reported on these products’ poor nutritional value and how marketers appeal to children through the use of persuasive television advertising and packaging design. This study presents a visual thematic content analysis of child- orientated breakfast cereal packaging available in local supermarkets. The results indicated that South African marketers use “friendly” and “welcoming” cartoon characters as the most prominent graphic element on breakfast cereal packaging.

Cultivating voice through personal manifesto-making – a strategy for developing accountability, ethics and integrity in tertiary design curricula

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Discipline: 

Design Education Strategy

 

There has never been a better time for tertiary curricula to provide a learning framework for the development of personal as well as professional ethics and accountability. Research shows that tertiary education today should address the development and transformation of the self (Mezirow

OgilvyEarth: is this what a future communications agency looks like?

AuthorInstitution
Schaefer, CarmenRed & Yellow

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Discipline: 

Media & Communications Design

Viktor Papanek, in his seminal book about ethics and design, Design for the Real World: Human Ecology  and  Social  Change (1971,  revised  1984)  declares  that  designers  share  responsibility  for humankind’s environmental mistakes, by all the products and tools that they have sold and created, either by bad design or by turning a blind eye (1984, p. 56).

Corporate social responsibility: An exploration of initiatives in clothing brands

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Discipline: 

Fashion, Jewellery & Textile Design

Ethics and accountability in design appear to have increased momentum as individuals and corporations are increasingly conscious of the detrimental implications of immoral business practices. The accountability and responsibility of both individuals and organisations are significant to business practice. This has become increasingly apparent due to the role business must play if humanity and the environment are to thrive in future. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is mounting in emphasis within corporations, as identified through various bodies of research. This paper positions ethics and accountability in design practice from the lens of CSR initiatives.

Team mentoring – a vehicle to foster and encourage ethics and accountability in design education

The ethics of tastemaking: towards responsible conspicuous consumption

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Discipline: 

Product & Industrial Design

The systemic nature of cultural production implies that designed objects are made desirable (or acceptable) by tastemakers who endow objects with forms of social distinction. Social distinction highlights or diffuses status and reveals self-perceptions of consumers’ identities. In this way, design becomes a form of tastemaking, invested in the construction of identity and is therefore a form of cultural production rooted in consumption. The role of the designer in facilitating conspicuous consumption is therefore critical in the context of social distinction, cohesion and identity.

The Firma Model: A Tool for Resolving Complex Societal Problems

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Discipline: 

Design Education Research

As the focus of design broadens to include problem solving located in complex societal systems the emphasis in design education must shift accordingly. Knowledge of and competence in conducting research within the scope of design practice, and using insights gained from research to conceptualise appropriate solutions is a necessity that design students urgently require.  In support of this need, this paper  will  introduce  and  describe  the  Firma  Model,  a  meta-framework  that  spans  the  human- centered design process, which aims to assist the design student and educator in grappling with complex problems.

Future fit, socially responsible fashion designers: The role of fashion education

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Discipline: 

Fashion, Jewellery & Textile Design

The multifaceted and complex phenomena of ethics and accountability have relevance for the current discourse of fashion design. This is evident in the choice of materials used, the conditions under which clothing is produced, as well as how designers think about and implement the practice of fashion. Fashion practice has environmental and ethical impacts that ultimately connect human wellbeing and society with sustainable practice.

Mr Paterson's rounded testimony: ethics, intersubjectivity and the interview

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Discipline: 

Design Education Research

As the interview as a method of data gathering has gained in popularity in the disciplines of art and design, templates of consent letters are generated in their hundreds, and the absence of a duly signed document  —  in  a  research  output  using  humans  as  a  source  of  data  —  usually  renders  the undertaking unethical and invalid. However, in the rush to protect the institution and its agents against litigation, it is perhaps forgotten that the signing of the obligatory letter is only a first, technical, step in a personal encounter between individuals.

Ethics in design and issues of social class: reflecting on the learning unit: Design and the Construction of Class Distinction

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Discipline: 

Product & Industrial Design

The second year Design Studies learning unit “Design and the Construction of Class Distinction” (BA Communication Design, Industrial Design, University of Johannesburg) introduces students to definitions of social class in terms of capitalism (Olin-Wright 2008, Goldthorpe 1980, Crompton 1998, 2003) as well as to Bourdieusian concepts of habitus, field and capital (Bourdieu 1989; Weininger 2005, Bennett, et al 2010; Jenkins 2003; Grenfell 2003).

The ethics review of visual communication design research proposals: is a 'dual mandate' approach justifiable?

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Discipline: 

Media & Communications Design

The majority of institutional ethics committees at South African tertiary institutions state in their standard operating procedures that the role of the ethics committee includes screening proposed research with regard to the core principles of ethics (dignity and autonomy, justice, non-maleficence and beneficence), as well as the scientific validity of the envisaged study.  

The first part of this paper debates to what extent such an approach is justified, as the notion of validity is primarily located in the philosophy of science and not in the field of moral philosophy.  

The second part of the paper illustrates some of the main points of the discussion with selected examples from the field of visual communication design research.

The examples are drawn from

Wicked ethics in Design

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Discipline: 

Media & Communications Design

Wicked problems are wicked because, amongst other things, understanding problems as existing in society, at the intersection of many possible points of views held by a variety of potential stakeholders introduces indeterminacy. Ethical frameworks in this context may also be multiple and may exist in harmony or dis-harmony alongside each other.

Re-representation: Addressing objectifying media portrayals of women in South Africa

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Discipline: 

Media & Communications Design

Objectification imparts harm to women and sets a detrimental precedent for self-objectification. This is particularly true for young women who are seeking information to assist them in the process of identity construction. Experimental studies indicate that objectification in media causes negative body esteem, an unnecessary drive for thinness, eating disorders and related psychological problems. Globalised media trends emphasise and value women for their physical appearance. These trends de- personalise women, depict them as objects to be gazed at, and style them as decorative, rather than a person with a mind, aptitude, intellect, personality and a ‘voice’.

Whose creative expression is it anyway? A conceptual framework proposed to facilitate an authentic creation process of fashion design mood boards

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Discipline: 

Fashion, Jewellery & Textile Design

Repurposing images has become an integral part of the ideation phase of fashion design processes. The use of online images presents both a challenge and an opportunity for fashion design students who use images of others to communicate a design concept through mood boards. The challenge pertains to the authenticity of their design concepts.

Although the authors of this paper acknowledge the importance of referencing of visual material as a strategy to prevent plagiarism, the argument is made that compilation of mood boards with existing images can be further explored, especially with regard to the accountability of an individual in relation to the concept authenticity.

Non-maleficence as an ethical guideline to design

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Discipline: 

Media & Communications Design

South Africa finds itself in the difficult position of not having a truly representative voice for design practice. Furthermore, we find ourselves without an advertising regulator with legislative support or legal force with a view on ensuring ethical and non-harmful design practice. The closest we come to such a body, is our advertising self-regulator, namely the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASASA).

The ethics of Ubuntu and community participation in design

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Discipline: 

Design Education Strategy

In order to produce skilled design graduates schools regularly restructure their curricula to develop knowledge  characterized  by  continuous  advancements  applicable  to  the  ever-changing  design industry. New schools are in demand and a concern arises that these offer little more than specialized software training and do not sufficiently prepare students to become empathetic, thoughtful individuals that may serve the needs of society.  Former president of the International Council of Graphic Design Associations (ICOGRADA), designer and educator Jorge Frascara (2008, sp) confirms this:

Do the right thing- combat our unsustainable future with design education

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Discipline: 

Design Education Strategy

Governments, policy makers and environmental activists across the globe, entered the 21st century with a renewed focus in combatting the impact of humanities unsustainable practices. To achieve this goal a paradigm shift towards being environmentally responsible and accountable is required in which humanity will have to adopt radical personal change. This paper therefore aims to address the unsustainable future that humanity faces through investigating the role of education as agents of change in motivating sustainable practices and inspiring personal, ethical conduct amongst university students.

 

Mapping Empathy and Ethics in the Design Process

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Discipline: 

Product & Industrial Design

There is no doubt that the role of product designers has changed considerably, not least with the rise of human-centred design. While Papanek’s 1971 “Design for the Real World: Human Ecology and Social Change” seemed radical at the time, his ideas seem entirely at home in the 21st century, including his call to adopt more social responsibility in design. These views are echoed in the contemporary  findings  of  professionals  and  researchers  associated  with  ICSID,  the  International Council of Societies of Industrial Design. The focus has shifted, from the designer as the expert to the user, or community, as the expert in their own environment; and Co-design, Participatory design, and Universal Design are but a few examples of such people-focussed design approaches.

Critical Design as critique of the design status quo

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Discipline: 

Design Education Strategy

Contemporary design practice (and theory) is growing up. There is evidence to support the emergence of a new breed of designer who is able to reflect on her or his role in society, and to be critical of what they make and what the resultant consequences of that may be.

Design is often used as a vehicle to criticise and comment on issues, highlight problems and shortcomings in society, and present views and perspectives. This suggests that design is at a distance and impartial, but the truth is otherwise. Design is ideological and an expression of the values mediated by the designer and commissioned by others. This is the status quo: affirmative design. When design steps away from this position and critiques itself, critical design is the result.

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