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DEEP: Design Ethics in Practice

About the project

As digital technology permeates most aspects of our lives, there is a growing awareness that ethics is a central concern for designers. In design research, design ethics has a long history. However, most research efforts have dealt with ethics as a philosophical issue, as normative standards or as accounts from researchers’ own design processes. Very little is known about how design practitioners and technology developers, working in commercial settings, understand ethics as part of their practice. The central research question guiding the DEEP project is how design practitioners understand and deal with ethics in their work. To address this question, the project will engage with designers working in commercial settings to explore design ethics in practice.

Project contribution

The purpose of this project is to investigate how the people who design the technology that surrounds us understand and deal with ethical dilemmas. The project sheds light on this issue through two cases in Danish companies that design and develop digital technology. Based on these cases, the project will develop a conceptual framework that summarizes the key factors and dynamics for capturing how design ethics unfold in practice.

This project will contribute with much needed knowledge about design ethics in practice in terms of current practices and how we might envision a framework for addressing design ethics in practice. The main outcomes of the project will be (1) two case studies that show how ethics is understood and dealt with in practice and (2) a framework for understanding the main factors and dynamics at play regarding design ethics.

Project domain of research
Commercial Practice

Publication category
Child-Computer Interaction & Human centered informatics

Research areas
PD, CCI, Design Ethics, Design research, HCI

Funding partner
Danmarks Frie Forskningsfond | Kultur og Kommunikation

Contact project lead

Christian Dindler

Associate Professor School of Communication and Culture - Department of Digital Design and Information Studies

Project partners

  • Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Danmarks Frie Forskningsfond | Kultur og Kommunikation