Practising ethics: guides for built environment research

with David Roberts (lead author), Yael Padan, Ariana Markowitz, Emmanuel Osuteye

Practising Ethics Guides are part of an open-access educational tool for emerging and established built environment practitioners to teach themselves and others how to identify ethical dilemmas that may arise in research and practice, negotiate their ethical responsibilities, and rehearse strategies to navigate unpredictable ethical issues with care and creativity. The guides are the result of an interdisciplinary collaboration between two long-term projects that explore ethical protocols for built environment practitioners and strengthen pathways to urban equality, paying particular attention to the western-centric bias of ethical values which privilege the individual over the communal or collective. Together, this research explores the relationship between universals and specifics through a framework that encourages a situated mode of ethical practice, which situates the relation between universal principles and particular processes in specific contexts. The guides help navigate this relationship by using generative questions as prompts for practitioners to reflect on potential ethical considerations and by setting out guidelines that contextualise concerns and suggest potential actions. Practising Ethics Guides are designed as an accessible point of reference at all stages of a project – from planning research and conducting activities in the field to producing and communicating outputs. Rather than a regulatory hurdle, they consider ethics as an opportunity to enrich architectural practice through reflexive curiosity and critical investigation.

David Roberts, Jane Rendell, Yael Padan, Ariana Markowitz & Emmanuel Osuteye (2022) Practising ethics: guides for built environment research, The Journal of Architecture, DOI: 10.1080/13602365.2022.2143395

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