That Quiet Little Voice: Considerations for Design Ethics
Date & Time
Wednesday, April 27, 2022, 3:30 PM - 4:00 PM
George Aye

The design industry’s relationship to the field of business has long been established and continues to become further entangled each year. But designers aren’t just satisfied with only disrupting the business sector—they’re keen to disrupt the social sector too. Unfortunately, the weaknesses baked into the discipline of design (that have been present from the start) are readily exposed when designers enter complex social issues and treat them like any other human-centered innovation challenge. The lack of a moral framework, let alone a set of ethical guidelines, put designers at great risk of doing more harm than good. Designers entering the industry are often wholly unprepared for the conflicted project priorities, shallow proclamations of allyship with black and brown communities, and the perverse incentives that riddle the field. At best, we leave ourselves vulnerable to manipulation from clients (both corporate and non-profit), at worst, we become complicit in furthering white supremacy, patriarchy, and capitalism in the US. This talk will not provide attendees with a prescribed set of moral or ethical guidelines to follow but it will attempt to nurture the quiet little voice inside each participant that has been hushed into submission on their journey to becoming a grown-up.

Session Type
Concurrent Short Talks