DS 95: Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE 2019), University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. 12th -13th September 2019

Year: 2019
Editor: Bohemia, Erik; Kovacevic, Ahmed; Buck, Lyndon; Brisco, Ross; Evans, Dorothy; Grierson, Hilary; Ion, William; Whitfield, Robert Ian
Author: Ferrarello, Laura Filippa
Series: E&PDE
Institution: Royal College of Art, United Kingdom
Section: Ethics and Social Issues 1
DOI number:
ISBN: 978-1-912254-05-7


This paper would like to describe how the practice of ethics and morality in design and engineering education can foster an industry ethically capable of tackling social issues. By describing how postgraduate students’ research projects develop methodologies and design intervention through ethical etiquette aware of the context, this paper would like to outline and discuss possible directions and methods that design and engineering education could develop for further study. What can ethics awareness in postgraduate education trigger to influence future design and engineering practice? For the major role morality and ethics have in ruling social coexistence designers and engineers are called to take responsibility of any action that shapes behaviour between people, products and systems. In response to the need of a collective ethical etiquette that products and systems should encode, design research at the [removed] supports students working towards moral codes that can take the shape of research methodologies and/or design interventions. For each project [removed] postgraduate students design ethical processes facilitated by collaborative design research methods; these are strategic in modulating relationships and behaviours. To help frame the bigger picture, impacts and limitations methods like speculation and future forecasting are applied to the design research process. Together with collaboration these approaches facilitate and manage roles, codes and tasks people perform in an environment. Projects like the development of an innovation concept that values rural and agricultural Moroccan communities’ knowledge and human/natural resources describe how students design and encode ethics in design strategies.

Besides the description of the ethical aware design process this paper aims at drawing attention to the challenges, limitations and opportunities as well as engaging the audience to discuss further developments. The aim is not to draw conclusions on what ethics is and how it should be pursued but to support the development of guidelines that would like to engage in debates design and engineering education and industry. This paper intends to be an engaged, collegial and collaborative contribution to the topic of ethics in design/engineering education and practice starting from the [removed] projects to then open the debate to the audience and enquire possible developments of design and engineering ethical paradigms the public can foster.

Keywords: Ethics, morality, methods, collaboration, responsibility, opportunity, future of education, future of practice


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