Prateek Shankar is a strategic designer, writer, and educator working to address critical issues at the intersection of social impact, language and sociocultural identity, systems design, and decoloniality. His professional ethos is anchored in enabling more inclusive and empathetic worlds, and interrogating the intricate connections between design, culture, and society to support interpersonal healing, social justice, and environmental regeneration. He is currently based at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in Providence, Rhode Island — as an Adjunct 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, here he develops epistemic frameworks for planetary systems transformation and decolonial futures.

Prateek is also an early career scholar with an interest in design, critical theory, digital 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 storytelling collective examining the politics of Urdu/Hindi, in the context of South Asia’s difficult colonial past, through art, new media, urban historiography, and archival research. At RISD, this has evolved into a critical interrogation of English. His MA thesis examines the colonial afterlife of the English language, its fractalization into a mosaic of World Englishes, and their profound implications on postcolonial formations of citizenship, technology, and pedagogy. This work received the Braj B Kachru Award at the 25th Conference of the International Association of World Englishes, the SPUR Fund from RISD Research, and is the foundation for the ongoing “Worlding Englishes” project.

Prior to this, Prateek worked for over six years as a graphic designer, visual artist, and researcher on projects for the likes of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, BFA Global, Mastercard Foundation, Aga Khan Foundation, PayPal, Goethe-Institut, UNCDF, People’s Archive of Rural India, Center for Policy Research, among others. He holds a master’s in cultural studies and critical theory from RISD, a postgraduate diploma in liberal arts from Ashoka University, and a bachelor’s in architectural design from the School of Planning and Architecture in New Delhi. He is a recipient of the Young India Fellowship and the RISD Fellowship, and is a participating artist in Futura Trōpica Netroots.

Resume available on request. Direct all inquiries to

📌Providence, RI, USA.

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