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Design & Critical Thinking - Issue #1

Design & Critical Thinking - Issue #1
By Kevin Richard • Issue #1 • View online
Hi, Kevin here.
Recently, I committed to writing about ethics in design (here and here). My goal is to humbly (try to) go beyond the current state of the discussion: dark patterns. My first idea is to illustrate the “ethical landscape” by approaching major ethical concepts. Another angle I would like to cover is to provide more specific discussions on current issues and see how we can connect that to designers’ reality.
Don’t get me wrong, dark patterns are an issue and the goal is not to overlook its impact. But this is, to me, more a visible artifact of the interactions between the different parts of our organizations. One side effect of focusing on the surface (dark patterns) is the prevalence of finding solutions for a not-often-well-framed problem space from a design perspective.
The opportunity for a more ethics-literate (and critical thinking) community is as high as the trend toward more responsible design decisions in recent years. One aspect of the issue is that ethics, morals, and philosophy are usually not at the center of most of the design education –when it is at all a subject– especially given the fact of the many routes that lead to this domain –even though there is a lot to read about this topic. Most companies are avid of more effective design producers, fewer thinkers, and the two are often presented as opposite –thinking or doing, you must choose– until one understands the interconnectedness of these “states”.
Isn’t it a moral statement, in a sense, that commands more “doing” over “thinking” for the sake of efficiency?
Anyhow, I think that designers can also look to other domains for clues and ways to approach such complex issues. For instance, applied ethics are represented in many domains, usually through Ethics Councils, such as in AI, Biology, Medicine, Governments, etc. and help define policies to either mitigate known effects, study & build knowledge about the consequences of existing practices/technologies, and explore future potential ethical issues.
Anyways, thanks for reading!
Take care of your human, design, critical thinking.
Wish you all the best,
With ♥️ from Switzerland.

Ethics for Designers.
Ethics For Designers: What’s Cultural Relativism?
Ethics Explained To Designers
Ethics is Privacy.
How Privacy Works in a Pandemic
Ethics is Data.
Students and Sensors: Data, education, privacy, and research
Ethics is Design.
Designing down the rabbit hole - The Startup - Medium
Ethics is Conceptual & Practical.
Conceptual Frameworks in Technology and Engineering Practice
Ethics is our Future.
The Future of Humanity Depends on Design Ethics, Says Tim Wu
Ethics is Experience.
AI, Death, and Mourning
Ethics is Complex to navigate.
Able, Allowed, Should; Navigating Modern Tech Ethics – Facebook Design
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Kevin Richard

Design & Critical Thinking (D&CT) aims to build shared understanding, collective knowledge & sensemaking through a community of professionals from different backgrounds and horizons.

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