The road ahead

Uttaran Dutta, Mainak Ghosh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Scholars and international institutions have noted that toward making the world more habitable and humane, we need to be mindful about anthropocentric activities and be proactive to raise ecological/environmental consciousness. In other words, we need to diligently engage and invest in designing meaningful solutions for all to co-create contextually appropriate outcomes and sustained access to resources and services, particularly when the Global South is experiencing severe disparities (including multidimensional poverty) and gaps in terms of power, structure, and resources. The impacts of these inadvertently shape up the forms that are designed or built by the people, be it product, environment, policy, or any artifact to run the society. Another delinquency is the perceptual, conceptual, and cognitive gaps, which often (influenced by Eurocentric conceptualizations) portray the knowledge and knowledge production processes of the Global South as inferior (if not pseudoscientific). It is therefore important for the design scholarship to recognize and understand various gaps that need to be bridged; they include—value-/ideology-related gaps; priority-, preference, and intention-related gaps, as well as cognitive-, thought process- and perception-related gaps. The issue of lack of access (to the environmental resources, to income and employment, and to basic infrastructures, among others), unfairness, and illegitimacy is quadrupled in the developing world due to illiteracy (including functional, computational, ecological, and cultural illiteracy) and lack of plurality of language, which divide the Global North and the Global South. Moreover, intercultural incompetence, lack of critical listening, and lack of reflexive dialogic engagement farther worsen the scenario. This chapter envisions a few approaches and calls for prudent use of these approaches or principles to make this world a better place to live in, including co-design and co-creation; community-centered an agency-centric approach; de-colonial and de-westernization approach; contextually/locally meaningful solutions; communicative engagements; intercultural competence; unlearning, relearning, and co-learning; transdisciplinary and multisensory approach; and ethics and reflexivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpringer Geography
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

NameSpringer Geography
ISSN (Print)2194-315X
ISSN (Electronic)2194-3168


  • Co-creation
  • De-colonial
  • Intercultural communication
  • Reflexivity
  • Social transformation
  • Transdisciplinary

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Urban Studies
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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