Certification / Licensing for Designers

Has anyone worked on a national/international board certification for…
teaching design or practicing design?

I haven’t seen a licensing “list of topics” that we as educators or designers need to know (about handling data, human rights, digital design techniques, etc). Will that help us as open source apostles? Probably… in terms of building reputation, skill, etc. Hell, I’m just starting to work (and a few on this list as well) with the Linux Foundation, and I don’t have design licensure… and the output has an impact on millions++. I’ve designed software that infects a large swath of patients using mobile services. And yes again, I’m mostly a moron.

Scouring the googlez doesn’t bring up much, so any pointers would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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Your experience is the same as mine - I’m not aware of any form of designer licensing beyond design degrees, and even then they’re light on ethics modules.

This rabbit hole goes deep…I’ve found myself in lectures with academics discussing licensing for software engineers (“who goes to prison when the software causes the autonomous car to kill?”).

But, I think it’s great that you’re thinking about this sort of stuff (data handling, human rights, etc). I think right now it’s a case of reading the writing that’s being produced on the subject.

The two designers I can think of discussing this are Mike Monteiro who wrote Ruined by Design: How Designers Destroyed the World, and Cennydd Bowles who’s written Future Ethics.

What sort of design work are you doing with the Linux Foundation?

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I first became properly aware of this when Mike Monterio started to do talks about it and then the ruined by design book.

There are some good critical thoughts re. AIGA membership (and other international equivalents) and I ‘make myself feel better’ by having a Design Justice membership/pledge and also an OSI membership. I’ve personally also done crisis work so I’m aware of and try to follow the humanitarian principles.

I think ethical source could also be a way forward.

The only other piece of relevant info is the work being done by Stanford with the peaceful engineering degree. There’s modules in ‘doing no harm’ and ‘knowing the harm you do’ with engineering. The idea being that many engineers end up designing plane parts, machine parts that ultimately drill for oil, make weapons work etc. and there’s a desire to teach about the impact of your engineering.

Design lags behind, though maybe some institutions are doing work here…I would expect CCI to maybe be thinking about this: https://www.arts.ac.uk/creative-computing-institute