This morning I had a quick look into the notes on Moodle regarding ethical issues surrounding the design industry, the point of discussion for todays class. Firstly I looked into some of the links via the Moodle page based on copyright and morals. This website here explains in depth the guidelines of copyright, which is quite a lot and all very interesting! this is definitely a must know for designers, and most certainly falls under the category of design ethics, for one must know their own rights as well as the consequences for breaking such legalities. It never occurred to me until I read this article that the work I create under employment would technically belong to the employer. https://copyright.lib.utexas.edu/whoowns.html
Another ethical point of focus for designers is what can be waged as moral. This is a subject that can vary between people; sometimes people share commonalities while others do not. As a Christian, there are certain things I know I would not want to design for or be a part of, for it would line up with my own beliefs and moral values. These would be things such as sexually exploitive/explicit material, alcohol or drug substances and other forms of immoral behaviour. I know that I want my work to be a positive influence on its intended audience; work that could inspire or enable change for the better, to help those in need, to raise awareness of situations and to draw people together. After watching the TEDx Talk surrounding morals, it was interesting to see Facebook being portrayed in both good and bad lights. While it may be successful and a good tool for communication, it can also be detrimental in the way it impacts our social lives; for some of us our free time is sucked up by sitting on these sites rather than experiencing the real world. These are all moral/ethical issues we must consider when designing new things!
A few things to really consider as a designer is this: A designer should be working toward filling a need rather than a want. It is up to the designer what sort of moral compass they wish to tap into; what sort of experiences, stories, values they wish to leave with their target demographic/audience. Designers will sometimes have to design for ‘wants’ and this is okay so long as it aligns with their own wants out of life. Always think, what do I want to present to the world? How do I want to change the world and what would need to be done to get it looking the way I want it to be? These are all good points that will help a designer to flesh out a pathway for their own moral and ethical codes of practice.
The other evening, I watched a film called Joy. This film depicted a good example of ethics within the creative industries. Joy Mangano had designed and created the Miracle Mop to which she gets a Californian factory on board to make the parts etc. Throughout the film she faces theft of her ideas/product, lies and fraud- these were all unethical obstacles that she fought to overcome.
One last thing. I looked into the ‘Wicked’ camper van business as there has been a lot of ethical controversy alongside the graphic designs on their vehicles. Recent T.V newsmedia shows such as Seven Sharp and OneNews, as well as local paper companies, have been spurting out the issue of sexually explicit, racist, misogynist and drug/alcoholic referenced imagery on said vans. Many of the public have expressed their disgust and outrage over such material, saying it does not reflect any positive messages to the community of New Zealand. I also had a browse of their website and it is equally disgusting. Their language is foul, promoting nudity, substance abuse and a crude sense of humour. A lot of the content is really horrible, not worth repeating, but the underlying messages are definitely negative connotations that only promote unwise world views and behaviours. This is a perfect example to me of what I would NOT want to promote to the world, or be a part of creating or using within my own story and world experience. I will talk about today in class and the ICA under my ICA section.