Hard Skills Soft Skills
Andrew J. Hawkins @andyjayhawk Andrew J. Hawkins @andyjayhawk
Courtney E. Martin: “You’ve been working with a
lot of other designers thinking about what is our
ethical mandate, what is our Hippocratic oath
for design. Can you talk about how you’re
thinking about that these days?”
“I think if we made the oath to first do no
harm as designers, we would likely never
do anything new.
I would hate for designers to feel like we
can’t ever engage with something that’s
unknown, because we’re worried about
what the outcomes might be.”
Some curious assumptions:
• An adherence to the Hippocratic Oath
would mean that there is no innovation.
Medicine has seen a fair bit of innovation
since the fifth and third centuries BC.
• Being ethical means taking no risks.
Primum non nocere (first do no harm):
there is no intervention in medical
practice that does not also have risk.
• Doing nothing is what creates the least
• Intentions are not enough
• Question who are involved?
• Full, informed consent
• Look out for assumptions
• Scale effects
• Indirect, negative consequences, trade-offs
• Focus on contributing to well-being
• Open and document ethical decisions
“We have to engage with the commitment to
stay involved in the ever-changing nature of
what the design problem is.
This sort of “fire and forget” idea about
design: that we would finish our design, and
launch it into the world, and after that it was
other people’s problem…
That mindset is destructive now, because
these things don’t stay in the same state that
we designed them in. They continue to
The “designer fallacy”: the notion that a
designer can design into a technology, its
purposes and uses
I am attempting to show that the design
situation is considerably more complex and
Both the designer-materiality relation, and the
artifact-user relations are complex and
Both intended results and unintended results