December 13, 2021

The Department of Ethical Design (TDED)

The Department of Ethical Design (TDED)

In a world where construction laws regulate all manner of things from the size of windows to the heights of balustrades and thickness of insulation, what they often lack is a requirement on moral conduct throughout the design process - in fact, the large-scale implications of our work (the work of architects) often means that creating an ethically sound building is almost impossible.

For example, perhaps as an architect you decide to be ecologically responsible and make a wooden construction, good! However, do you know which forest is being cut down? And do you also know if the lumberjack is being paid a fair wage for his work? How about fuel consumption of transport – perhaps this outweighs the embodied energy of simply using concrete from down the road. As an architect it ought to be your responsibility to consider these questions in your design decisions but how often do you really take them into account?

With this publication for Archined, the department has created a new fictitious branch in the government that addresses these ethical conundrums of the architectural design process. Bringing bureaucracy to the ethical problems of construction will allow you to evaluate how ethical your architecture office is. Fill in the form to see if you still deserve to carry an architect’s license, or if you should take a summer course to learn more about the moral implications of using a computer!

download the form in English here: TDED-163-1

download the form in Dutch here: TDED-163-1


in the assignment of: archined

date: autumn 2021

producers: Pia Prantl, Christopher Clarkson, Theo Deutinger