Ethical and legal work practices

What are the ethical and legal work practices which are relevant to the design industry?
There are many laws designers; in this case Interior Designers, MUST ADHERE TO, and the following is based around the Design Institute of Australia's (DIA) Code of Ethics:
Designers working as part of a team or alone must adhere to the design industry's code of ethics at all times. For some designers, there may be multiple codes to follow - one set of codes set down by an employer, or one set of codes set down by professional organisations. There may even be a personal set of codes to abide by. This protects the industry and the designer when on the job, whether in an office or out on a renovation. EVERY DESIGNER MUST UTLISE A CODE OF ETHICS RELEVANT TO THE PARTICULAR COUNTRY THEY ARE WORKING IN AS WELL AS PERSONALLY. All members are required to conduct themselves honourably and honestly in their dealings with their clients, the community and their colleagues:
The Designer's Responsibility to the Community.
Designers should not only make a concept according to a client, but also for the public around the client’s environment. Nowadays, interior designers have to think about how the work they produce can impact on people who will see it. The audience is the population, the public at large, with different age groups.  Things to consider include taking projects that could result in some degree of harm to the public, the communicated message and its truthfulness, mutual respect of the audience, discriminatory actions and obligation to serve the community.(Carrie, 2014)
The Designer's Responsibility to the Client.
The designer’s responsibility to interact well with clients is essential in the design industry. There must be a code of conduct i.e no conflicts of interest, confidentiality in some specific types of projects. The designer must be professional at work and also when talking to clients. This will set a tone for the employer who hires a designer in his/her company and the reputation the interior designer will earn in the industry.
The Designer's Responsibility to other Designers.
How designers work and interact with each other is essential in a company. It is even just as valuable as designing a concept for clients. There must be a fair and open competition amongst interior designers. Healthy practices involve honouring others’ work including no copyright infringement, trademarks and other design property. A design’s company member shall not belittle or denigrate the work or reputation of another designer.
Careful work consideration should be applied for every designer. The designer should creating his own working guidelines that match with his/her company and personality. What is acceptable in one company, may not be for another. The ethics will help each other to attain their professional goals without interfering in forbidden affairs.
Designer's Renumeration (Fees and Compensation)
One of the things that classifies a professional design as such is the collection of fees and payment for work. A good code also outlines fees and payments, what kinds charges are acceptable, when taking a fee could cause potential conflict, how contracts should be maintained and honoured, and provisions for estimates (if applicable). (Carrie, 2014)
The Designer's Conduct
There are special implemented ethical codes that outline basic rules of conduct for a professional designer. These applicable rules are meant to be understood, respected and obeyed for healthy and trustworthy business practices. Some basic conduct rules consist of refusing unlawful or fraudulent work or refusing a work that will cause harm to people.
Legal work practices are an important feature in design industry. This help companies in preventing non-conformed practices that will harm both the designer and the reputation of the design company.
The following are essential procedures to prevent a legal minefield from occurring at work:
  • Don’t steal others’ work;
  • Don’t copy other designers’ work without their permission;
  • Don’t lie to the employer or the clients;
  • Don’t cheat just to have more money;
  • Do NOT work for free.
The 2 IMPORTANT features that will be shown below demonstrate how important the legal work practices are, in the design industry.
(i) Protect Copyrights
By law, an interior designer or any other designer retains the right of his/her work. Owning the rights enables the designer to get paid for additional use of a design and also protect the latter from unwanted changes.
(ii) Always use a Contract
The designer may trust his/her client, and vice versa, but the best way for a project to start and finish well, is to always use a contract. Signing a contract should not be seen as un uncomfortable task in which all requirements, rules and regulations are specified. Instead, it should be seen as an agreement that protects both parties throughout the process. Every projects should have a specific contract that details the job to be completed.
References :