chapter  5
21 Pages

Intangible ethicality

WithPhilippe d’Anjou

The previous analyses set the stage for defining a virtue-based design ethics. The difficulties of understanding ethical rules for design firms, and the designers embodying them, as being the result of an intangible ethical directive are explored. As such, ethical realism is the standpoint from which rationales are developed to propose the concept of an overarching design ethics called ethical design intelligence. This concept is proposed as an antidote to the postmodern and nihilistic approach to the design ideology we have been experiencing in the last decades. Hence the necessity to show the manner in which the ethical issues designers face within the context of firms are intrinsically complex and multifocal; they stem from several grounds that define the rights and obligations of a diversity of affected actors. Thus, the question of how this multifocal ethical phenomenon in design practice can be dealt with through virtue in all levels of the design decision-making process is investigated.