Ethics can’t be a side hustle


“Can you imagine a doctor not telling you about a dark spot they found on an x-ray because they didn’t want to upset you? Can you imagine an auto mechanic not telling you your brakes are shot because they didn’t want to deal with the problem, or telling you that your good brakes were shot so they could hustle you out of a few extra bucks? Both are unethical. And when other industries behave unethically we get upset. Yet, many of us seem to have no problem behaving unethically ourselves. We design databases for collecting information, without giving a second thought what that information will be used for.”

And ethical design cannot be a superficial layer on top of an unequal system. We need to change the system.


This is from Victor J. Papanek, Design for the Real World 1971

“For design is the most powerful tool yet given man with which to shape his products, his environments, and, by extension, himself; with it, he must analyse the past as well as the foreseeable future consequences of his acts.”


Got that book on my bedside table! It’s great :blush: