Design is not neutral. It has a massive impact on the world and how people behave and live their lives. “There are professions more harmful than industrial design, but only a very few of them” is how Victor Papanek opened his famous book, Design for the Real World, in 1985. And 37 years after it was published, design still has the potential to do significant harm.
Regardless of how you describe your role, or job title, it’s important to recognise that we are human beings first and foremost. We share a planet. And as human beings, we are responsible for what we put out into the world. That’s why it’s vital we understand the role of ethics and principles in our work, including the intended and unintended consequences of what we produce, and the tools and processes that can help us with our ethical responsibilities.
Jess Majekodunmi, Director of the Human Sciences Studio at The Dock, Accenture’s flagship global R&D centre, and Amy Matrai, Principal Project Manager at Snook, a design studio built to make the world more human.