Codes of Practice, Design, Designers

Hand-Head-Heart: Ethics in Design

Ranjan, M P

Abstract Our understanding of design has been evolving steadily over the past 100 years and in recent years there has been a rush of new research into a variety of dimensions and Ethics is one the many dimensions that have received research attention. In this paper we look at the various dimensions of design and at current and past definitions to see the contemporary understanding of the subject as we see it today with the aid of models that the author has evolved over several years of reflection and research. We then trace the evolution of design as a natural human activity and restate this history in terms of the major stages of evolution from its origins in the use of fire and tools through the development of mobility, agriculture, symbolic expression, crafts production and on to industrial production and beyond to the information and knowledge products of the day. This sets the stage to ponder about the future of the activity and of the discipline as we see it today.With the use of a model the expanding vortex of design value and action is discussed with reference to the role of ethics and value orientation at each of the unfolding stages through which we have come to understand and use design over the years. Beginning with the material values of quality and appropriateness we explore the unfolding dimensions of craftsmanship, function, technique, science, economy and aesthetics that has held...
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