EssayPosted: May 23, 2014
Are the morales of a designer right ?
In today’s modern society, art and design has become a huge part of modern day culture ,with the means of art and design effecting the daily lives of the everyday man through improving the aesthetics or functionality of our daily possessions .Taken into account the process of producing a design we have to understand what the real motives a designer would have for his or her work and whether or not the design is morally ethical .The way to understand if a design is ethically wrong is by identifying the social effects the piece produce and the impact it causes .For example the peace sign would be considered as a design in which creates a positive feedback from the means of the design means peace and love to all .However design which create conflict and negativity can be identified through signs like the Nazi sign where the design meaning was intentionally for good created many negative effects. Thus showing how two design can have an impact on society in a positive and negative way. Morales are defined as a lesson learnt from a journey or any experience ,depending on the experience of the designing process we can determine the final outcome of the designers morales. The morales of a designer will be the step they take during the designing process which would benefit them or the users and by identifying the different areas in a more clearer fashion we can achieve a better understanding of the minds and the moral choices a designer would have to make in order to achieve there goal.
The designing process is a series of steps which firstly involves research and the research can be split up into several different areas such as having primary or secondary information .By exploring both forms of research we can get a better idea for a final product outcome ,however if some of the information is unclear and not from a reliable source they could cause a big impact upon the final product choice .Also with collecting primary research the data collected in that certain area might attract designers too take advantages of the research in a negative way to increase its profit margin .Another step to the designing process is that there is the design concept stage where sketches and ideas will be formed in order to resolve the issue in which the research had shown and the best ones will be taken on further for further development .These development stages could include a series of prototypes and design matrix in order to find the final design .These stages would allow the designer to produce products more effectively but if the deadline is too short for them to handle they could skip certain regulations of the designing process for example taking short cuts from health and safety they could wind up with a product that is unsafe and not too the quality standard for the user and this could also effect the lifespan of the product to be short due to this. However all there design process could all be compromised if the company, was on a strict budget which could cripple the designing process due to lack of capital and resources to maintain product quality and maintain profits .Another factor too take into account is that there is a clients brief requirements that need to be up hold in order to please the producer for example if the producer had asked the designer to produce product that had to be cheap and profit maximising there would be temptations for the designer to take on the easier route by using lesser quality material and other tactics in order to meet clients request for the final product. This creates the moral issue whether the designer is going to go for and if they will try to main there costumers service quailty .
A designer in other words are producers and the consumers are the customers, the producers ethics is too create a product in which can create profit through creating a service or goods for the consumer . The benefits of being a designer is that we have complete control over how the product is made and how we go by producing the product ,some designers specialise in producing products in which are environmentally friendly by using materials and methods of production which is friendlily to the environment .An example of a design would be Stella McCartney who is a fashion designer who uses natural resources to creates her designs and has become one of the top eco-friendly designers out there . However designers can also produce products in which aren’t eco-friendly but realistically does that make them morally wrong ? Well sometimes products cannot help using not ethical materials because of the current technology and the cost of the production ,but there could be potential for designers to use unethical materials in order to maximise profits with low cost production . Also in our day in age designers designs are mostly produced abroad because of cheap labour cost and less regulations are need to be applied ,this not only exploits overseas labour but takes away jobs from communities causing troubles for the community .But these could only apply to designers who are at a larger scale of production but the morale issue would still apply.
An example of a designers morales would be Dieter-rams a designer in the 1930’s whose has influenced thousands of designer with his 10 principles of design ,which are ensuring that a good design is produced for the users through the 10 principles of design .The first principle of Dieter Rams design is that the product must be innovative for the users ensuring the consumers have new ways of approaching a problem in a more advanced way .These principle could have its flaws because for example a couple of students in Harvard developed a new way to put on make up through a 3d printer and essentially this product would put business in the make up industry out of business creating the dilemma of having a morale issue involved of the design creating a product which benefits the users but not the industry. The second principle is the product must be useful ,this principle connects with the theory above by creating a product which used daily ,may have a negative effect by the user not paying any attention to anything else .The third principles to ensure that the product is aesthetically pleasing ,the fourth principle is to make the product understandable ,this can have negative effects if the illustration on the product is not accurate can cause products to have a shorter lifespan. The fifth principle involves unobtrusive which benefits the designer ,however can turn away business from other products .The sixth principle is to ensure that the product is honest to the users ,so in other words there are no alter y motives other than the purpose of the product. The seventh principle involves aspects of creating long-lasting products ,the eighth principle is looking at every last detail of the design and having it be unique by not having the product be the designers own design they can cause product malfunctions or copyright issues . The ninth principle requires the product to be environmentally friendlily and last but not least the tenth principle it to have the design to be as a little design the benefits to a design to have the product to be as small as possible are that the product itself uses the less materials and storage cost will be more effective. This also creates advantages to the consumer by giving them a product in which takes up less space but could also become an disadvantage due to the size being too small to keep track of and could corrupt the form of the product causing the piece to become easily broken.
There are other ways to identify whether or not a designer is being immoral with there design is by seeing the cost ratio ,where you calculate the average cost per product and see if the retail price is being immoral to the consumer .A design itself can be identified into different categories such as being a necessities or a luxury item ,designers could use this to become immoral with the design choice by designing the item to be less stable and not needing to be innovative due to the reason that the item is a necessity in which the user has no choice of purchasing .An example of this would be medical products where the user would have no choice in purchasing due to the need of the product .On the other hand product in which are a luxury item give the consumer more of an option when it comes down to choosing the right design for them because the luxury items do not have the necessity effect on users but are items in which help enhance the users lifestyle by using more innovative ideas in order to stand out . It was because of this it creates the idea that designer have more morales when given the option to choose what kind of audience and design they would like to approach .
There are many ways a designer can be morally wrong with design process for example if a designer was ask to produce a weapon to become more ergonomic for the user ,this benefits the user with the consumer having a more efficient grip to his weapon but the negative use of having the weapon can be identified as being morally wrong. So excluding what the product/design will be used for and just concentrating on the consumer to product relationship ,We can identify the other ways a designer can become morally wrong with the design. One example is the lifespan of the product ,this can be discussed by saying a designer designs can be produced to have a short lifespan in order to maximise there profits . An example of a product in which has a short lifespans would be phones such as Iphone and Samsung the reason for this is because the designer due not design the phones to last more than 3 to 4 years due to faulty batteries or degradation of internal circuits. And the that fact a newer model comes out every year can support the ideas that the designer of Iphone’s and Samsung have intentionally produced the products to degraded after a few years after purchase. On the other hand designs in which provide are for display purposes tend to have a larger lifespan due to the lack of use and the materials used to produce them for example Henry Moore work uses a variation of materials such stone or metals . These designs would be considered beneficial for the user because the lifespan of the piece will be much longer but then this creates the argument that designers has no control over the lifespan of the product but really is down to how the users treat the design and how they use it .
In conclusion the fact that designers morales to design can only be identified by the way the consumers interact with the product and buy saying that when consumers purchase the design these days they are doing it at there free will ,this meaning if the product clearly shows its function and its purpose. We have identified the different areas in which a designer can become immoral during the designing process by being able to adjust the design to there own will to benefit the producers to maximise profit. But we have also seen the designer being morally right in terms on using more eco-friendly methods of production and applying Dieter-ram principles to there designs .But in the end the designers morales is defined by the users interaction with the design and how they communicate the object to there own personal perspective. So to say that a designers morales of the product is wrong this would have to be the consumer own opinion and there own experience with the design itself .