Prateek Shankar is a strategic designer, writer, and educator working to address critical issues at the intersection of , systems transition design, social justice, language, and decolonization.

He is currently based at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in Providence as a: Lecturer in the Theory + History of Art & Design department, where he teaches art history and critical theory to a new generation of artists, designers, and thinkers; and Strategic Design Fellow at the RISD Center for Complexity, where he leads groundbreaking research in strategic design and systems transition, pioneering the development of decision-making frameworks, coordination tools, systems analysis and problem-solving methods to address the cataclysmic concerns of the Anthropocene. He will soon be moving to a new role at Dark Matter Labs.

Prateek is also an early career scholar with interests in design, public arts and humanities, cultural anthropology, sociolinguistics, and postcolonial studies, and is deeply committed to decoloniality as a category of epistemic disruption and social justice. He has been the co-director of the Urdu Project, a mixed-media artist collective examining the politics of Urdu/Hindi in the Indian subcontinent. At RISD, this evolved into a critical interrogation of the English language as a living archive of colonial memory — which received the Braj B Kachru Award from the International Association of World Englishes, the SPUR Fund from RISD Research, and is the foundation for the ongoing Worlding Englishes project.

Prateek is of Tamil Indian descent with roots in the city of Hyderabad in India. Prior to RISD, he worked for over six years, as a graphic designer, visual artist, and researcher in India, Kenya, South Africa, and USA. He holds an master’s in Cultural Studies from RISD, a bachelor’s in Architecture from the School of Planning and Architecture in New Delhi, is a receipt of the Young India Fellowship and the RISD Fellowship, and is a participating artist in Futura Trōpica Netroots.

Current and recent collaborators include: UNCDF, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Politics for Tomorrow, 10x100, Horizon 2045, Dark Matter Labs, Rhode Island School of DesignAshoka University, Eyebeam Institut, Aga Khan Foundation, Mastercard Foundation, BFA Global, Decodis, Pind Collective, and Blue Khirki.  

Resume available on request. Direct all inquiries to

📌Providence, RI, USA.

Don’t be cool. Be warm.
Prateek Shankar © 2023.
All rights reserved.