A critical review of the intersection between design, ethics and technology : the social importance of designers and how ethics can truly be promoted through design
Abstract: In his speech during the 2016 Speculative Design Symposium, held at the University of California, San Diego, Benjamin Bratton1 rightly argued that the job of 21st century design is to undo (much of) the design of the 20th.A number of recent controversial designs and practices in the business and public sphere have suddenly made ethical design (design ethics2) a hot topic in the design community.This master thesis is a highly critical and fairly philosophical examination of the design profession in the context of the current socio-technical landscape. It analyses the convergence between the fields of design, ethics and disruptive technology. Autonomous transportation is taken as an example to illustrate what circumstances (should) drive designers’ social engagement. Hopefully, it also accommodates for a productive reflection on the place of ethics in a broader social context. By utilising speculative and critical design approaches, the thesis aims to stimulate, provoke and ideally maintain a public discourse on the direction of development of technology and modern societies, and inspire designers to be more critical to the vocational portrayal of their profession.
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