This Oath inspired and was highlighted in our article featured in Touchpoint, the Journal of Service Design. The article is titled, "A Designer's Hippocratic Oath: Collaboratively Defining a Code of Ethics for Design". This Oath was collaboratively created by 5 of the 15 designers we selected to participate in the creation of the first Designer's Oaths.

I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant: I will respect the hard-won knowledge of the human condition of those designers in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such empathetic decisions as are mine with those who are to follow.

I will apply, for the benefit of the people, all measures that are ecocentric and holistic avoiding those twin traps of behavioral manipulation and pure profitability.



I will remember that the best design sprouts from the user's understanding of their own needs, not the designer's dreams, assumptions, or aesthetic preferences. I will endeavor to uncover the true problem my clients are aiming to address.

I will not hesitate to say "this is not a problem design alone can solve," nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed to deliver quality solutions.


Most especially must I tread with care in matters of fashion vs. innovation. If it is given to me to better a life, all thanks.

But it may also be within my power to adapt a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.


I will remember that I do not design for a pattern or a platform but a human being, whose choices may affect the person's family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to design adequately for experience.

I will prevent apathy in design whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to reaction.


I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm. If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of problem solving for those who need it most.