Work Bio︎ ︎︎ 
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Prateek Shankar is a strategic designer, writer, and educator working to address critical issues at the intersection of design, systems transition, social justice, decoloniality, and language. He is currently a Strategic Designer at Dark Matter Labs.

Until very recently, he was based at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in Providence as a: Lecturer in the Theory + History of Art & Design department, where he taught 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 led research in strategic design and systems transition, developing decision-making frameworks, coordination tools, as well as systems analysis and problem-solving methods to address the cataclysmic concerns of the Anthropocene. 

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 co-led 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 Dark Matter Labs and RISD, he worked for over six years, as a designer, visual communicator, and researcher. He holds an master’s in cultural studies and critical theory from RISD, a bachelor’s in architecture and building sciences from the School of Planning and Architecture in New Delhi, is a receipt of the Young India Fellowship and the RISD Fellowship, and has been a participating artist in the Futura Trōpica Netroots. He is very fond of cats.

Current and recent collaborators include: UNCDF, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Politics for Tomorrow, 10x100, CIVIC SQUAREHorizon 2045, Ashoka University, Eyebeam Institut, Aga Khan Foundation, Mastercard Foundation, BFA Global, Decodis, and Pind Collective.  

Resume available on request. Direct all inquiries to

📌Hyderabad, India.

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