Robert Fabricant


Robert Fabricant



As designers (and design educators) we have not adopted a common set of ethical principles to guide our practice. We tend to rely instead on the general humanist notion of “advocating for the end user” to keep any ethical questions at arms length. Is this position sufficient in an era in which technology has opened up the role of design to a new set of behavior change and service design frameworks that have a decidedly determinist bent? Is it sufficient in an era in which design is increasingly seen as a key ingredient to unlocking new approaches major global issues in health and education?

How might we begin to define a set of ethical principles to ground our actions moving forward? This lecture will explore the ethical space around design and innovation using examples from my own practice. I will attempt to create a new frame around these questions and open up the space for a cross-disciplinary dialogue between educators and designers in the field.

Robert Fabricant is a frog Fellow and the Co-Founder of Dalberg’s Design Impact Group (DIG), where he brings human-centered design and innovation services to clients looking for new, creative approaches to breakthrough innovation and expanded collaborations in the field of social impact and international development.

Previously Robert Fabricant was the Vice President of Creative for frog design where he managed frog’s global leadership across Design Research, Product Design, Software Design and Experience Strategy. He also lead frog’s efforts to grow and extend it’s creative capabilities into new markets and offerings. Robert incubated and led frog’s “Design for Social Impact” practice through initiatives such as Project Masiluleke, which focus on transformative opportunities to use mobile technologies to increase access to information and accelerate positive behavior change.

Robert writes about Design and Social Impact for publications like HBR, SSIR, Fast Company, Rotman Business Journal, MIT Tech Review, ChangeObserver and Core77. He is a sought after speaker on topics ranging from design to healthcare and mobility. Recent speaking engagements include Poptech, SXSW, IxDA, Mayo Transform, Harvard Business School and others. He has won numerous design awards including 2009 & 2011 IDEA Gold and 2009 Index Award Finalist. He is a member of the adjunct faculty at NYU and SVA.

His client portfolio includes experience with non-profits, global multinationals, foundations and start-ups across verticals, including financial services and financial inclusion, social impact, mobile and technology, healthcare and public health, and media.

Robert has an MPS in Design and Technology from NYU and a BA from Yale University. He is a member of the adjunct faculty of NYU and the School of Visual Arts.

Please join us on Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at 5:00pm in MMCH A-14.

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