Ethics are moral principles that govern the choices individuals make. They seek to resolve questions of human morality by defining concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice.
Project team: Claire Craig, Helen Fisher
Funded by: EPSRC
Partners: Northumbria University (Lead) / Newcastle University / BBC / Marie Curie / CRUSE Bereavement / National Council for Palliative Care
Within the broader research context each discipline subscribes to its own ethical code. These are often manifested in frameworks, which set out expectations and behaviours that teams engaging in research are required to follow.
As the potential of design to address societal issues and questions becomes increasingly recognized a growing number of design researchers are working in fields related to sensitive areas including research with people with dementia, research in care homes and in end of life care. Some researchers may be under-equipped to manage such complexities, which may place participants, stakeholders and researchers alike at risk in a variety of ways. These situations also necessitate engaging with frameworks and systems of governance that designers may be unfamiliar with e.g. those developed by health-care research.
This enquiry focused on the development of an ethical roadmap to support the discussion and enactment of ethical practices in design research.
Academic disciplines operate within publicly defined ethical parameters created to support researchers through complex dilemmas. However, paradigms in interdisciplinary research, a growing focus on emancipatory and participatory methods and questions relating to an ethic of technology call for a rethinking of existing frameworks which are largely predicated on bioethics.
This enquiry focused on the development of an ethical roadmap to support the discussion and enactment of ethical practices in design research. The resultant research-informed roadmap guides design research teams in navigating and understanding the broader ethical and moral decisions that research inevitably entails.