Summary of This Design Generation Has Failed

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Last year, design director Mike Monteiro incited an audience of fellow designers to shouts of protest. His provocation? Calling for licensure for the profession. In a long read written for Fast Company, Monteiro – a principal at Mule Design and author of Design Is a Job – explains his thinking. In essence, he believes design can kill. It can ruin lives and damage society and the environment. And in Monteiro’s view, the current generation of designers has abdicated its ethical responsibilities. getAbstract recommends Monteiro’s passionate broadside to any designer who is wondering where the profession has gone wrong – and how to make it right.

About the Author

Mike Monteiro is the co-founder and design director of Mule Design and the author of Design Is a Job. 



Design has consequences: When Facebook outed Bobbi Duncan, a freshman at the University of Texas at Austin, it led to her suicide attempt after her parents disowned her. Software designer James Liang helped Volkswagen deceive emissions tests, and Uber designers created the Greyball tool to help the company evade law enforcement on purpose. These high-profile examples of ethical failures aren’t exceptions: The entire current generation of designers has failed in ethics. They’ve focused on financial success or market share and ignored the social and environmental effects of their work.

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