Design and Ethics

Reflections on Practice

by Emma Felton, Oksana Zelenko, Suzi Vaughan

The value of design for contributing to environmental solutions and a sustainable future is increasingly recognised. It spans many spheres of everyday life, and the ethical dimension of design practice that considers environmental, social and economic sustainability is compelling.

Approaches to design recognise design as a practice that can transform human experience and understanding, expanding its role beyond stylistic enhancement. The traditional roles of design, designer and designed object are therefore redefined through new understanding of the relationship between the material and immaterial aspects of design where the design product and the design process are embodiments of ideas, values and beliefs.

This multi-disciplinary approach considers how to create design which is at once aesthetically pleasing and also ethically considered, with contributions from fields as diverse as architecture, fashion, urban design and philosophy. The authors also address how to teach design based subjects while instilling a desire in the student to develop ethical work practices, both inside and outside the studio.


  • Taylor and Francis; March 2012
  • ISBN: 9781136342646
  • Edition: 1
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure ePub format
  • Title: Design and Ethics
  • Author: Emma Felton (ed.); Oksana Zelenko (ed.); Suzi Vaughan (ed.)
  • Imprint: Routledge

About The Author

Emma Felton is Research Fellow in the Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland University of Technology. She has a PhD in cultural geography and an interdisciplinary background in cultural studies and in e-learning teaching leadership in the university sector. She is the recipient of several grants, from learning and teaching to research-based grants in the field of cultural geography.

Oksana Zelenko is a design researcher and academic at the Creative Industries Faculty, Queensland University of Technology. Oksana’s PhD is on Interaction Design and the promotion of mental health and children’s resilience. She has a background in the design of interactive environments for the higher education sector, cross-cultural training, and eHealth applications, including a world first in online visual counselling.

Suzi Vaughan is Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Learning and Teaching at Queensland University of Technology. She has experience of teaching and leadership in higher education both in the UK and Australia, and is the recipient of a number of teaching excellence awards in recognition of her work in fashion education and academic leadership