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This course intends to provoke thought and reflection over the role of the designer and their responsibilities. Literature on the subject of ethics, morality and responsibility in product design is reviewed and discussed and will include Maori and indigenous perspectives. The key agents who possess responsibility in design are also explored. The content of this course serves a variety of important roles in the education of masters' level designers. Firstly the class will develop an understanding of the concepts of ethics in design in a practical sense, including how this impacts on Maori and indigenous understandings, for those conducting design activities (and particularly design research activities); introducing the concepts of participant's informed consent and reasonable measures for ensuring compliance in a design project. Secondly, it will introduce students to the many aspects of ethical and moral debate within the contemporary product design industry, ranging from concerns related to sustainability and 'kaitiakitanga' to the idea of responsibility in design to the concept of "good works" in design. Lastly through the nature of the course and its assessment it will develop student's research competencies, communication and debating skills, all core skillsets in the contemporary designer's tool kit.
Approval of the Head of the School of Product Design