ASID Icon - Spring 2011 - (Page 4)
DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH & KNOWLEDGE RESOURCES
EDITOR Kerry O’Leary
ASID STAFF MANAGING EDITOR Jennifer Lipner
Michael Alin, Hon. FASID
Michael A. Thomas, FASID
Ethics: A Matter of Choice
Ethics is a code of values, which guide our choices and actions and determine the purpose and course of our lives.
— Ayn Rand, American novelist and philosopher (1905 – 1982)
PUBLICATION DIRECTOR Erik Henson
PROJECT MANAGER Megan Sapp
NAYLOR TEAM PUBLISHER Jill Andreu
Karen Berube, K.Designs
DESIGN & ART PRODUCTION
Oswald Cameron, Sam Ezeji
AS A SOCIETY, we share certain val-
ues that shape our ethics and guide the choices we make. We expect that others will behave in a certain manner. Ethics asks us to trust the man on the street, to take him at face value and, by doing so, to expect him to trust us in the same and equal manner. In the design profession, ethics pertain not only to making appropriate decisions but also to determining what are the “best” and/or “right” decisions. Ethical judgments require more than sound skill sets, technical knowledge and design talent. They demand a solid understanding of the ethical issues that lie at the heart of all business or personal relationships. And just as design is ﬁlled with choices, ethics is ﬁlled with judgments. In this day and age, the media often shape the public’s knowledge and assessment of current events. We in the design community need to be evervigilant and maintain a higher standard of excellence to ensure the public’s trust. When we work with clients, we need to be mindful of how ethics beneﬁt us in two ways: • First, when we understand what ethics means to our clients, we can appreciate the choices they make during the decision making process, particularly their justiﬁcation of critical or difﬁcult decisions. • Second, doing so sharpens our awareness of our own personal and professional values. This awareness can then guide our dealings with clients. Each day of work presents us with choices that can raise ethical questions. Despite our attempts to do everything in the best manner possible, we may ﬁnd ourselves drifting away from the “black and white” of ethical responsibility and slipping into ethical “shades of gray.” At those times, it pays to re-examine and reﬂect on the behaviors expected of a professional and how they apply to the situation at hand. For instance: • Am I able to remain totally objective while assisting a client in evaluating alternative designs or potential solutions? • Am I able to set aside concerns about proﬁt in the choices made on the client’s behalf when specifying and supplying product?
Can I resolve a dispute fairly and equitably for my client with a contractor who consistently provides me with referrals to clients and design projects? • Am I able to bring other team players into my projects without creating hidden agendas that may undermine my credibility? • Can I take into account a project’s impact on the planet’s resources and make certain recommendations even when the client has no desire for a “sustainable” project? Ethics calls upon each of us to act responsibly in all dealings with others, to perform in good faith when executing the design work, to provide counsel to clients without prejudice, and to specify appropriate materials and products without hidden agendas. The motives behind our conduct as design professionals are inseparable from the rules of ethics. However, ethics sits apart from the law. According to ASID legal counsel Alan Siegel, Esq., Hon. FASID, “What is legal is not necessarily ethical. And what is ethical is not necessarily legal. Laws constitute only the minimum standards of performance, the smallest amount one can get by with.” Ethics help us to decide what ought to be done, determine the right path to take and establish the best solutions, often well beyond what is required by law. Sometimes the ethical choice may not seem to be in our own, best self-interest. At those moments, we will do well to remember that when we decide in the best interest of the client, the project and everyone we have relationships with, we encourage others to do likewise, which is of greater beneﬁt to us in the long run. i
Erik Henson at (800) 369-6220.
ADVERTISING ART Effie Monson
EDITOR Leslee Masters
Mike Hisey, Bill Lovett, Patricia Nolin, Marjorie Pedrick, Mark Tumarkin
PUBLISHED MARCH 2011/AID-S0111/4874
POSTMASTER CHANGES OF ADDRESS ASID ICON, c/o ASID Customer Service 608 Massachusetts Ave., N.E. Washington, DC 20002-6006.
ASID ICON 608 Massachusetts Ave., NE Washington, DC 20002-6006 P (202) 546-3480 F (202) 546-3240 firstname.lastname@example.org
SUBMISSIONS & CORRESPONDENCE
Volume 13, Number 1, ASID ICON (ISSN 15270580) is published four times a year in March, June, September and December for the American Society of Interior Designers by Naylor, LLC, 5950 NW First Place, Gainesville, FL 32607; (800) 369-6220; (352) 331-3525 fax. Copyright 2010 by Naylor, LLC. Reproduction in whole or in part prohibited without written authorization. Receipt of ASID ICON is a beneﬁt of membership in the American Society of Interior Designers. ASID ICON is printed on Rolland Enviro100 paper, containing 100% post-consumer ﬁber and manufactured using biogas energy. Rolland Enviro100 is certiﬁed EcoLogo, processed chlorine free and FSC recycled. The use of every ton of Rolland Enviro100 reduces ASID ICON’s ecological footprint by: 17 mature trees; 1,081 lb. of solid wastes; 10,196 gallons of water; 6.9 lb. of suspended particles in the water; 2,098 lb. of air emissions; and 2,478 cubic feet of natural gas.
Michael A. Thomas, FASID
the magazine of the american society of interior designers
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ASID Icon - Spring 2011
ASID Icon - Spring 2011
Still in the Dark
Design for Life
Resource Guide & Advertisers
ASID Icon - Spring 2011