04 June 2015

Designer’s Oath

Text: Jessica Sicking

Oaths or vows are known from various disciplines: medicine, law or politics. On the What Design Can Do conference this May Jeroen Junte, Dutch design journalist, asked for a moral code for designers. After all, designers not only develop products and processes that impact our daily lifes, they also tackle far-reaching major societal dilemmas. Junte not only asked for such an oath, but presented a first version of what it might look like in the future which we present hereafter.

That design is more and more confronted with ethical questions and concerns nowadays, is also the key topic of our next issue. form 260 will be published on 16 June 2015.


I promise that I will conduct in an honest, open, and transparent manner.


I will make a careful consideration of the interest of the society, the user, the commissioner and its employees.


I will not make any design that is harmful to the user, nor shall I make any design with the purpose of harming other people.


I will not make any design that depends on child labour or any other form of exploitation.


I will not make any design that depends on harmful or exhausted resources.


I will withhold from wasteful use of energy, raw materials or labour.


I will respect the creative autonomy of other designers.


I will acknowledge the limits of my profession.


That I promise.


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