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Reuben Stanton - Design Research Australia 2018

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Researchers are constantly presented with ethical challenges in their work, but we’re not always well equipped to handle them. How can we avoid thinking of research participants as “resources” to extract from? Once the data are back in organisations, designers face a number of tough choices about how to use the data they’ve obtained – how should you tell someone else’s story? What about someone’s experience should you reduce to a summary? What is lost in that? Reuben will explore these ethical questions (and more!), and will present a practical framework that designers can use to identify the ethical lines in a project, so that they might understand when and why they’re crossing them.

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Reuben Stanton - Design Research Australia 2018

  1. 1. The Ethics of Design Research Reuben Stanton @absent @hellopapergiant
  2. 2. Dr. Reuben Stanton @absent
  3. 3. ethics
  4. 4. ethics the moral principles which govern our work
  5. 5. ethics as expressed through our actions the moral principles which govern our work
  6. 6. If ethics is about the question of how to act, and designers help to shape how technologies mediate action, designing should be considered ‘ethics by other means’. Every technological artefact that is used will mediate human actions, and every act of design therefore helps to constitute specific moral practices. P.P Verbeek, What Things Do, 2009, p.69
  7. 7. Design has moral consequences, So be deliberate about your actions
  8. 8. To be ethical means to take a deliberate stance – for example:
  9. 9. 3. Suppress dissent 1. Impose authoritarian rule 2. Favour the strong over the weak To be ethical means to take a deliberate stance – for example:
  10. 10. 3. Help others do no harm 1. Make positive social change through design 2. Help the most vulnerable in society To be ethical means to take a deliberate stance – for example:
  11. 11. the framework
  12. 12. Positionality Participation Representation the framework
  13. 13. Positionality Participation Representation the framework Who am I in relation 
 to this work? Who participates, and in what ways? How does data get represented, and by whom?
  14. 14. Positionality Participation Representation the framework Who am I in relation 
 to this work? Who participates, and in what ways? Before the project During the project After the project How does data get represented, and by whom?
  15. 15. Positionality Participation Representation Before the project During the project After the project the framework
  16. 16. questions not answers interrogations not methods and the framework provides
  17. 17. Ethical engagement Positionality Participation Representation Before the project During the project After the project
  18. 18. How might we enter this community? How might we represent diversity of experience? How might we give participants
 the power to speak freely? Positionality Participation Representation Before the project
  19. 19. Consult with experts before entering an at-risk community “do good” Are we ok with that? Be flexible about your methodology
  20. 20. Being human-centred Positionality Participation Representation Before the project During the project After the project
  21. 21. How might we enter this community? How might we represent diversity of experience? How might we give participants
 the power to speak freely? What are the risks to our participants and ourselves? What do we summarise about someone’s
 situation, when, and why? How might we make participants
 feel comfortable sharing? Positionality Participation Representation During the project
  22. 22. Your participants are people, not resources for your project Connection and trust is more important than ‘data gathering’ “do good” Are we ok with that?
  23. 23. Organisational ethics Positionality Participation Representation Before the project During the project After the project
  24. 24. How might we enter this community? How might we represent diversity of experience? How might we give participants
 the power to speak freely? What are the risks to our participants and ourselves? What do we summarise about someone’s
 situation, when, and why? How might we make participants
 feel comfortable sharing? What consequences might our models have? Who gets to shape the data? What happens when we leave? What are the ethics of the organisation? Why are you being asked to do your work? Positionality Participation Representation During the project After the project
  25. 25. Help an organisation do slightly better than they might have 
 done without you “do good” Are we ok with that?
  26. 26. I know what you’re thinking
  27. 27. I know what you’re thinking who gets to decide what it means to “do good” anyway?
  28. 28. Maybe just don’t
  29. 29. Ethics is expressed through action
  30. 30. Ethics is expressed through action What should we do or not do in a particular context?
  31. 31. Why are you being asked to do your work? What are the ethics of the organisation? What consequences might our models have? What happens when we leave? How might we represent diversity of experience? How might we give participants
 the power to speak freely? What are the risks to our participants and ourselves? What do we summarise about someone’s
 situation, when, and why? How might we make participants
 feel comfortable sharing? How might we enter this community? What right do we have to participate? How might we hand over 
 our power? Who owns the data? Who has the right to interpret it? What is the history of ‘research’ with 
 this community? Who gets to frame questions? Who gets to shape the data?
  32. 32. Give away your power “do good” Are we ok with that? Acknowledge your limitations
  33. 33. And that will help you figure out who gets to decide You need to establish your ethical framework Positionality Participation Representation Before the project During the project After the project
  34. 34. Design has moral consequences, So be deliberate about your actions, By continually interrogating your practice
  35. 35. It’s all about choices Positionality Participation Representation Before the project During the project After the project
  36. 36. Are we ok with that? Positionality Participation Representation Before the project During the project After the project
  37. 37. Questions? Reuben Stanton @absent @hellopapergiant

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