Ir. Jet Gispen

Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering

For her graduation project, Jet chose a highly topical subject of major importance in the field of technical sciences and industrial design in particular: Ethics.

Jet asked: How can industrial designers handle ethics and how can this naturally be embedded in the design process?

In a very intelligent way, she has applied this challenging philosophical subject in a practical way. Jet devised a theoretical framework in which she linked virtue ethics structurally into the design process. Based on this framework, Jet has developed a conceptual toolkit for designers that can be used in different stages of the design.

Her very transparent thesis provides a helpful guide for designers who want to put ethics into practice. Jet also launched a website to create visibility for ethics within the field to stimulate use and dialogue.

Jet knows how to master complex and abstract subjects, can formulate transparent conclusions without losing nuances and possesses the creative talent to translate her findings into practical applications that help humanity one step further.

dr. Ir. M.C. Rozendaal

Ethics for Designers: Incorporating Ethics into the Design Process

I believe design shapes the way we live and that with this power comes great responsibility. Currently Industrial Design Engineering is the only faculty where students are not taught about ethics. That is why I initiated a graduation project on design ethics.

Interviews with professionals revealed that ethics is often ignored or dealt with implicitly: designers base ethical decisions on their own moral compass. To improve this, I propose that designers develop ethical skills. These skills are (1) moral sensitivity (recognising ethical design issues), (2) moral creativity (using ethics as a driver for concept development) and (3) moral advocacy (communicating an ethical standpoint to stakeholders).

With case studies at the faculty I explored ways designers could develop these skills and incorporate ethics into their design process. This resulted in an ethical toolkit available at www.ethicsfordesigners.com. Each tool focuses on a different aspect of the design process.

Graduation committee – dr. Ir. M.C. Rozendaal and ir. W. Schermer

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