Ethical Design Manifesto

I have been reading about the Ethical Design Manifesto put out by Aral Balkan.  The Manifesto reads as follows:

Ethical Design


Design, don’t decorate · Design without ethics is decoration. Decoration makes inequality palatable, design challenges it.

Be diverse, not ethnographic · Design without diversity is imperialism. Diversity is not altruism, it is competitive advantage. A diverse team designing for themselves will meet the needs of a diverse audience. You cannot compete with a competent design team designing for themselves if you are designing for The Other.

Design the organisation, the product will follow · Ethical Design is holistic or it is nothing. Ethical Design is not what ethical designers do, it is the system of values and processes at the heart of ethical organisations. It begins with the design of the organisation itself.

Design your organisations so that your core values are respect for human rights, respect for human effort, and respect for human experience.


That’s it. Hard to argue with the philosophy, I believe.

Of course, this is merely the latest in an attempt to bring ethical design into practice. A Google search for “ethical design manifesto” reveals 47,000+ hits, many referencing ideas that go back to the Enlightenment. This current manifestation seems both clear and do-able, and I support it.

One Response to Ethical Design Manifesto

  1. Wonderful post, I look forward to reading more!

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