Sharing Values and Shaping Citizens: Design Education, Ethics and Pedagogy
Today's design students will face a growing number of difficult social and ethical issues as tomorrow's design practitioners. It is therefore incumbent upon design educators to forge curriculums that encourage their students to methodically probe the pressing ethical conundrums they will confront as 'citizen' designers navigating an increasingly complex moral landscape. This presentation will begin by illuminating stretches of ethical territory less recognized by many design educators and most design students. A more nuanced understanding of these critical yet often unacknowledged issues is one foundation upon which a design and ethics pedagogy could be built. The themes around which the discussion would form include: 1.) The largely unexamined value systems tacitly underpinning design practice (e.g., narrowly defined, exclusionary core moral communities); 2.) The ethical deficiencies inherent to design's normative value systems (e.g., object types and cultural narratives reinforced through artifact (token) creation); 3.) The possibility of alternative values for the discipline (e.g., establishing triadic personal and environmental moral landscapes). The presentation will conclude with a brief discussion of design's growing sociocultural responsibilities and the implications of a profession framed not only by technology or economics but also by ethics.
Keywords: Design Education, Design Educators, Design Students, Ethics, Pedagogy, Curriculum, Moral Responsibility
Prof. Keith Owens
Assistant Professor, School of Visual Arts, The University of North Texas