TecTalk: Ethics in a Tech-Saturated World

Meetup July 4 – Stadslab Eindhoven – 19:30–21:30

Design Stress: Ethics in a Tech-Saturated World
– Gabriele Ferri – Pim Verhoeff

Technology has never been neutral, and in today’s world oversaturated with cheap tech gadgets, sometimes it seems like we should design nothing at all, as there’s already too much in the world. When we consider that the choices we make in design carry significant social, cultural, economic, and environmental consequences, the ideas of maintenance and repair become revolutionary. What are the ethical implications of technology and design? How do design choices reflect ideological worldviews and impact society?

Some indigenous cultures advise that, when taking a decision, one should consider its impact on the next seven generations.

What if we applied this perspective to every design choice we make? Would we still create disposable gadgets? Could this approach help us rethink our relationship with technology and lead to more thoughtful design practices?

Midjourney generated image

Gabriele Ferri, Assistant Professor at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), is a socially engaged design researcher and educator. He works at the intersection of Design Justice and Transforming Practices.

By merging design critiques, ethnography, speculative fabulation, and research through design, he examines how injustices are perpetuated through design artifacts and collaborates with communities to create more equitable alternatives. His work addresses systemic challenges and advocates for individual rights, such as the Right to Repair.

Pim Verhoeff, master student at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), considers himself an activist designer. He loves to create speculative designs that rebel against oppressive systems, drawing inspiration from degrowth and care ethics. In his recent work this manifested in a set of anti-consumerist vacuum cleaners and recommendations to liberate design education from its consumerist tendencies.

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