chapter  6
13 Pages

Design and unsustainability

WithPhilippe d’Anjou

The multifocal problematic design embodied by its current ideology is the one unsustainability presents. Given the limits of the existing models it is necessary to present a different ethical model. The ethical framework developed for design ethics, which is based on virtue and freedom, is applied to the unsustainability problem. It is distinct from the common design ethics models, which are not fully suited for addressing the problem due to their instrumentalist ideology. It is therefore essential to bring into consideration the embedded ethical-sociocultural problematic that unsustainability carries, which is framed by postmodern ethical relativism, speculative culture, and egocentricism that leads to pure individualistic self-indulgence. Hence, the argument that a meaningful ethical reform centered on virtue instead of regulations, professional codes of ethics, and sustainability certification systems appears to be a coherent alternative to such a dead end. Ethical wrongdoings of design practice underlying unsustainability are brought into consideration to show the causal link between design practices as a defuturing agency. Finally, it is suggested that design leadership ought to be more inclined to develop the virtuous character in design practice to achieve virtue design ethics, which will instill the agency conditions for engaging “sustain-ability” and the “futuring” of humanity by design, and hence eudaimonia.