EthicsLab: The Year in Review

Despite our infancy – especially in comparison to the rest of the centuries-old giant that is Healy Hall – we have just wrapped up quite an impressive academic year. The studio was rarely empty (even at four in the morning!), the tunes were always jamming (…perhaps to others’ dismay, even at four in the morning), and the creative juices never stopped flowing (except maybe a little at four in the morning – creation is tiring work!).

In the fall of 2014, Maggie Little and Arjun Dhillon co-taught an Introductory Bioethics course, merging philosophy and design through ethically complex design projects centered around issues of autonomy, informed consent, personal genomics, and other intriguing bioethical prompts.

In the spring of 2015, Matt Pavesich, Maggie Little, and Francis Slakey taught courses in Rhetoric, Bioethics, and Science Policy, respectively, within the framework of a studio collaborative model directed by Arjun Dhillon. Students worked in cohorts comprised of class members from each of the three academic disciplines, forming truly dynamic teams with varied skills, knowledge, and experiences to create products addressing everything from plastic water bottle overconsumption to the shortage of organs available for donation.

In the spring of 2015, Randy Bass taught a course entitled, “The University as a Design Problem” in Ethics Lab, where students developed new and innovative models of what higher education might look like as our global assets and needs continue to rapidly evolve.

In the summer of 2015, Hailey Huget’s class on Moral Status incorporated elements of design as students worked in studio to develop board games that engaged players on a variety of complex and nuanced ethical dilemmas, balancing their own moral compass with the strategies and incentives of the created game.

Throughout the academic year, Ethics Lab has hosted a variety of esteemed guests, visiting the studio as project partners or vision holders, collaborators, guest lecturers, and jurors.

Our space has continued to grow and evolve as we add books and resources and modeling supplies and even a soldering iron – you should see our purchasing orders! Ethics Lab is making a splash as a design hub on Georgetown University’s campus as we encourage students, faculty, and external collaborators alike to use the space for their creation work.