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Ethics in the Making
Department of Design Sciences at Lund University, Sweden.
Halmstad University, School of Social and Health Sciences (HOS), Center for Social Analysis (CESAM), Social Change, Learning and Social Relations (SLSR).
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2005 (English)In: Design Philosophy Papers, ISSN 1448-7136, E-ISSN 1448-7136, no 4, p. 1-8Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Applied ethics in research is no longer regarded as a concern exclusive to the medical field. Exemplars in ethics from other fields such as design are, however, meagre, as are relevant practical and design applied guidelines. The more ethically grounded a given area of research is, the greater the chance it can contribute to long-term, meaningful breakthroughs in knowledge. An improved ethics in design can enable a critical questioning that in turn leads to entirely new research questions.

The mere involvement of human subjects and the application of safety provisions in design research do not guarantee it will meet ethical considerations, best practices or standards. The entire complex interaction with users offers intriguing possibilities and risks, or can result in mediocrity in areas such as: preparation and implementation that is worth the research person’s time; respect for users’ contributions; dignified treatment; feedback in an iterative and interactive process with mutual information and inspiration; and products and processes that are truly influenced by the users. This reasoning applies to all, but with special distinction to people who are disabled and elderly. Starting with specific needs as opposed to more general ones (the latter of which result in the necessity for more abstract specifications for the multitudes) can, above and beyond the ethical dimension, also result in increased innovation and effectiveness for society on the whole. Proceeding from the particular to the general is of considerable value, for ethical reasons as well as for sheer effectiveness.

Involving persons with a variety of disabilities in product development helps to ensure innovative and useworthy products.[1] One of many prerequisites for ethically sound user involvement is that all participants are aware of the interference taking place in an iterative design process.

An elaboration of ethical aspects in design can be valuable for different stakeholders (user organisations, NGOs and the design community) and, of course, for the relevance of resulting products and processes. A more considerate ethical approach could have substantial economical value due to the higher relevance of the results. There has been a considerable increase in the ethical expectations placed on businesses and professions in recent years. Scores of organisations have reacted by developing ethical codes of conduct and professional guidelines to explicitly state their values and principles.[2] Moreover, the drafting of a code of ethics can be seen as an indication of professionalism in an emerging profession.[3]

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Queensland, Australia: Team D/E/S , 2005. no 4, p. 1-8
Keywords [en]
Applied ethics, Research
National Category
Ethics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-340Local ID: 2082/653OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-340DiVA, id: diva2:237519
Available from: 2006-12-21 Created: 2006-12-21 Last updated: 2018-03-23Bibliographically approved

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Flodin, Eva

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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