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Design Ethics Roundtable

A panel of experts explores the definition of design ethics in theory and practice

Nov 09
  • November 9
  • 12:30 PM – 4:30 PM
  • The Wing

In the fields of medicine, law, and engineering, professionals are required to follow a written code of ethics to ensure public safety. Although design has enormous influence on how people live their lives, there is no written code of design ethics that professionals can follow. Why not? How do ethics show up in design and what does that mean for designers? This event will explore how to navigate grey areas and become more aware of our design decisions’ impact beyond the final deliverables.

The Design Ethics Roundtable will explore the definition of design ethics in theory and practice. A panel of design practitioners will share personal stories of applying ethics in their work in patient care, prosthetics design, UX, and other fields. Following a Q&A, attendees will break into small groups to role play real-life ethics scenarios and discuss. Designers will come away with a better understanding of design ethics conceptually and in practice, gaining tools to apply in their everyday work. 


Adero KnottFounder & CEO of AK Prosthetics, speaking about ethics in Prosthetics Design

Adero is the Founder of AK Prosthetics, an AdaptiveTech startup making customized prosthetics and adaptive wear accessible and inclusive. Adero is also an inventor and uses her experiences traveling the world to problem solve and create adaptive tools to make life more enjoyable for the Disabled community.

Chris RuddInstructor and Lead of Community-led Design for the Chicago Design Lab at IIT Institute of Design, speaking about ethics in Community & Youth Engagement 

Chris Rudd is an Instructor and Lead of Community-led Design for the Chicago Design Lab at the Illinois Institute of Technology-Institute of Design (ID) where his work focuses on co-designing with community stakeholders. Chris is a former Stanford Institute of Design (d.school) Civic Innovation fellow where he focused on the intersection of design, youth development, and technology.

In addition to his role at ID, Chris is a community organizer, and founder of ChiByDesign, a black-owned and people of color led design firm in Chicago. Chris has a deep background in social equity work, systems change, and youth development. He’s worked with youth on the south and west sides of Chicago, challenging them to engage with their communities through activism and technology.

Karen MacKaySolution Principal / Experience Design at Slalom, speaking about ethics in Healthcare & Patient Experience 

As a design practitioner for almost 15 years, Karen's background in philosophy and industrial design provide a strong foundation for her expertise in human-centered design and design research & strategy. Often working in the healthcare and life sciences industries, she is especially passionate about evolving the patient experience through empathetic design and bold solutions that can shift the healthcare landscape.

Nia EasleyMFA Graduate at the School of the Art Institute Chicago, speaking about ethics in Communication Design


Nia is a Chicago-based artist and designer who works across platforms. She received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute with a focus in Visual Communication Design. As an artist she creates work that addresses issues of visibility, accessibility, urban migration, social justice and data visualization.

Niraj SwamiCEO of SCAD AI, speaking about ethics in AI & Computer Engineering

Avid technologist and innovator in the Human Capital, Healthcare & Conservation spaces—focused on human-centered design, applied artificial intelligence (AI) & digital products. Niraj has consulted government, non-profits, and private sector companies on how to bridge the gap between AI and decision-making. Niraj holds an Hons. MBA from Chicago Booth and he currently is the CEO of a boutique AI venture firm (SCAD AI). He also is an advisor to The Nature Conservancy and a lead mentor for Techstars.

Sharlene KingSenior UX Designer at Morningstar, speaking about ethics in UX Design

Sharlene King is a UX designer specializing in accessibility and behavior. During business hours, she works at Morningstar Inc, an independent financial research firm, building software that makes finances more understandable. In the after-hours and weekends, she corrupts the youth by teaching design through the Adler Planetarium, Chicago Public Schools, and other mentorship programs.


12:30PM: Registration and networking

12:45PM: Introduction and presentation

1:45PM: Break

2:00PM: Breakout sessions

3:30PM: Group share-outs

4:15PM: Closing remarks

Ticket Pricing

$35 Student Members

$40 AIGA Members

$50 Non-Members

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