DS 123: Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE 2023)

Year: 2023
Editor: Buck, Lyndon; Grierson, Hilary; Bohemia, Erik
Author: Sansoni, Stefania; Torrens, George; Downs, Simon
Series: E&PDE
Institution: Loughborough University, United Kingdom
Section: Ethical, social and/or environmental issues in design and engineering, and their education
DOI number: 10.35199/EPDE.2023.75
ISBN: 978-1-912254-19-4


Responsible Design does not appear to be well integrated within Graphic Design in higher education. Students and graduates' experience is likely to be client-focused requirements of a business to deliver financial rewards without addressing the current environmental crisis, pollution, biodiversity loss, and climate change. The aim of the study presented will be to provide a better understanding of the current awareness among student and recent graduate graphic designers of responsible design and how to integrate it within current professional practice. Graphic designers have been involved in the evocative presentation and rhetoric around the phenomena of ‘greenwashing’, where sustainability is accounted for through one specific aspect of the design and production, but the overall environmental impact of product development is not clearly addressed. This puts a graphic designer in a difficult position, between satisfying the client's requirements and aspirations and their own professional values. Graphic Design effectively delivers the message of a product or service’s value to a targeted audience. Advertisement invests heavily in profiling their target market to understand their language, culture, values, and motivations to predict purchasing decision-making and behaviours. This paper will present a survey of the current professional values of a sample group of Graphic Design students, and recent graduate, and their understanding and experience of Responsible Design in education and industry. Specifically: 1) what are their current professional values? 2) do they understand what is responsible design within Graphic Design? 3) what is their experience of the industry’s approach to Responsible Design? The outcomes of this study will be incorporated into teaching resources that will be made freely available to other educators and industries.

Keywords: Responsible Design, Environmental Sustainability, Graphic Design, Greenwashing


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