Code of Ethics

Recognizing that industrial designers affect the quality of life in our increasingly independent and complex society; that responsible ethical decision making often requires conviction, courage and ingenuity in today's competitive business context: We, the members of the Industrial Designers Society of America, will endeavor to meet the standards set forth in this code, and strive to support and defend one another in doing so.

Fundamental Ethical Principles 
We will uphold and advance the integrity of our profession by:

  1. Supporting one another in achieving our goals of maintaining high professional standards and levels of competence, and honoring commitments we make to others; 
  2. Being honest and fair in serving the public, our clients, employers, peers, employees and students regardless of gender, race, creed, ethnic origin, age, disability or sexual orientation; 
  3. Striving to maintain sufficient knowledge of relevant current events and trends so as to be able to assess the economic and environmental effects of our decisions; 
  4. Using our knowledge and skill for the enrichment of human well-being, present and future; and 
  5. Supporting equality of rights under the law and opposing any denial or abridgement of equal rights by the United States or by any individual state on account of gender, race, creed, ethnic origin, age, disability or sexual orientation.

Articles of Ethical Practice
The following articles provide an outline of ethical guidelines designed to advance the quality of our profession. They provide general principles in which the "Ethics Advisory Council" can resolve more specific questions that may arise.

Article I: We are responsible to the public for their safety, and their economic and general well-being is our foremost professional concern. We will participate only in projects we judge to be ethically sound and in conformance with pertinent legal regulations; we will advise our clients and employers when we have serious reservations concerning projects we have been assigned.

Article II: We will provide our employers and clients with original and innovative design service of high quality; by serving their interests as faithful agents; by treating privileged information with discretion; by communicating effectively with their appropriate staff members; by avoiding conflicts of interest; and by establishing clear contractual understandings regarding obligations of both parties. Only with agreement of all concerned will we work on competing product lines simultaneously.

Article III: We will compete fairly with our colleagues by building our professional reputation primarily on the quality of our work; by issuing only truthful, objective and non-misleading public statements and promotional materials; by respecting competitors' contractual relationships with their clients; and by commenting only with candor and fairness regarding the character of work of other industrial designers.

Article IV: We will be responsible to our employees by facilitating their professional development insofar as possible; by establishing clear contractual understandings; by maintaining safe and appropriate work environments; by properly crediting work accomplished; and by providing fair and adequate compensation for salary and overtime hours.

Article V: We will be responsible to design education by holding as one of our fundamental concerns the education of design students; by advocating implementation of sufficiently inclusive curricula and requiring satisfactory proficiency to enable students to enter the profession with adequate knowledge and skills; by providing opportunities for internships (and collaboratives) with and observation of practicing designers; by respecting students' rights to ownership of their designs; and by fairly crediting them for work accomplished.

Article VI: We will advance the interests of our profession by abiding by this code; by providing a forum within the Society for the ongoing review of ethical concerns; and by publishing, as appropriate, interpretations of this Code.