29 March 2017
Questions of design and ethics take on a new currency, form and prescience in a post-industrial, 'post-truth' landscape. The technological shifts that have re-organised work through the automation of labour are intimately connected to global social problems relating to immigration, racial and gender politics. New classifications of intelligence, 'artificial', 'alternative' and 'false', are produced and consumed through the design and management of infrastructures of information. Meanwhile, new experts in algorithmic cultures, engineering and synthetic biology pursue the application of these forms of intelligence in medicine, security, health and social care as practical solutions to complex social problems.
Design and architecture occupy a powerful and precarious responsibility within this complexity, which goes beyond application and facilitation. Recent events in politics and design research highlight the deeply embedded social and political implications of work in design that can be so vulnerable to co-option and so valuable as a form of dissent. The Papanek Symposium 2017 will explore this unique position of design practice and research - contemporary, historical and anthropological - to address questions of ethics in design. Bringing academics and designers into dialogue, it aims to generate new ideas and critical thinking on the state of ethics in design and architecture today.
Explore the full programme here.