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Ethics in Design and Communication : Critical Perspectives
Bloomsbury Visual Arts

Ethics in Design and Communication : Critical Perspectives

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Ethics in Design and Communication

This timely collection brings together critical, analytic, historical, and practical studies to address what ethics means in the practice of design.

Designers face the same challenges as everyone else in the complex conditions of contemporary cultural life-choices about consumption, waste, exploitation, ecological damage, and political problems built into the supply chains on which the global systems of inequity currently balance precariously. But designers face the additional dilemma that their paid work is often entangled with promoting the same systems such critical approaches seek to redress: how to reconcile this contradiction, among others, in seeking to chart an ethical course of action while still functioning effectively in the world.

Ethics in Design and Communication acknowledges the complexity of this subject matter, while also demonstrating that in the ongoing struggle towards an equitable and sustainable world, the talents of design and critical thought are essential. Featured case studies include graphic design internships today, the dark web, and media coverage of the 2016 US presidential election. The fact that within this book such a wide array of practitioners, scholars, critics, and professionals commit to addressing current injustices is already a positive sign. Nonetheless, it is essential that we guard against confusing the coercive force of moral imperatives with ethical deliberation when conceiving a foundation for action.


“We are no longer operating in a world where we simply encounter objects and artifacts designed to act upon us. We are increasingly working on platforms and living in environments that are themselves designed to influence our thinking and behaviors. This is a wide-ranging survey of the deeper implications of design choices in the twenty-first century, and an urgent call to bring ethics back into the process, before they are rendered out of reach.” —Douglas Rushkoff, author of Team Human and Professor of Media Theory and Digital Economics at Queens College, City University of New York, USA

“This is an authoritative and inflected call for design to find the will to engage with our contemporary anxieties, if not to propose solutions to them. The book is a useful contribution to an important topic, and it will readily find its readership.” —Tom Fisher, Professor of Art and Design at Nottingham Trent University, UK

“This is an important and vital contribution to design education and research. I commend the editors and authors on this achievement.” —Laurene Vaughan, Professor of Design RMIT University, Australia

ISBN:  9781350077003