The word iatrogenesis has its origins in medicine. In ancient Greek it means “brought forth by a healer” and it refers to a cure that has consequences worse than the illness.
Estimates suggest that iatrogenic illness is the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States. While the term the term “iatrogenic poverty” is used to describe impoverishment induced by medical care.
So what has any of this got to do with design?
Analogously to physicians, designers and inventors also work to create solutions to problems. So what ethical boundaries and procedures are in place to reduce negligence and malpractice in the design world?
What are the short term design solutions creating bigger long term social, health and environmental problems?
In an increasingly global market of unprecedented scale, where a single design can be produced millions of times and sold to millions of consumers across the world, the potential for widespread iatrogenic problems is today greater than ever.
In this evolved market, how have the responsibilities of the designer evolved?
For further reading check out other posts titled:.-
Technoethics (TE) – A Moral Compass for the Future
The Objectification of Product and it’s Social, Environmental Threats
The Anthropocene – Designing a Man Made Earth Responsibly
Buckminster Fuller and Designing For the Benefit of Humanity
The Chuck Taylor and The Environmental Design Offset Theory
“Designers are problem solvers, not problem makers“