Recommended ReadsOctober 12th, 2021

Architectural design as the blueprint for ethical technology

We live in an age of technological innovation. Social networks give us a platform for creativity and web-connected doorbells secure our homes.

Such groundbreaking technologies promise to improve the way we live our lives. But, in the quest for innovation, how can we ensure new technologies do not ignore critical ethical considerations?

An analysis of the big tech industry shows us how the utopia once promised by innovation can quickly turn into a largely unregulated dystopia with disregard for human value.

As a trained architect, I believe there is a real opportunity to ensure equitable technology innovation by incorporating an architectural design ethos.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater is an iconic example of architecture that responds to its physical environment, as well as human needs. Zaha Hadid’s studio analyses sightlines, rhythms, and demographics to shape futuristic creations.

Both reveal a fundamental principle of architectural design practice: end-user participation. Devised to provoke debate between architects and their clients, it elicits practical human insight like whether you like to wash dishes while looking out over the yard or driveway.

Ultimately, what can be formed by building empathy and soliciting feedback is durable, agile, and responsive creations that respond to what people want and need.

More meaningful engagement with these types of workflows during innovation will help us achieve more human-centred technologies that are at least more equitable, and at most, more ethical.

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