How To Be an Ethical Designer in Singapore

David Goh, a design student in Singapore, sent me this, his quest for moral and ethical solutions for young designers. Many young and old designers have a similar mission. David’s, however, has a unique ring:

I’d like to share with you a project that I’ve been working on for the past seven months or so – it’s called Ethics for the Starving Designer. It’s a project about promoting the dialogue of design responsibility and ethics in my home country Singapore, and to finally use these conversations to define a contextualized code of ethics that is practical and useful for the local industry. A video that explains the background and approach in this project can be viewed here.

At this point of time, I have moved past the research stage and have begun wrapping up the project. I currently have a working draft of the said Manifesto that has been released for public critique as well as a thesis detailing the research I’ve conducted and explaining how I arrived at the 21 definitions in the Manifesto.

One very important thing that I do cover in my research is a theory as to why there has yet to be a sort of conclusive code of ethics for design – it’s because most attempts at defining a set of standards has been lacking in either of the three qualities: usefulness, practicality and universal appeal. With that in mind, I attempted to cover all three areas as best as I could in the Manifesto.

The site is deep and demands more than a skim. But it is worth the effort investing in browsing and reading.

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