The Road Ahead

  • Uttaran DuttaEmail author
  • Mainak Ghosh
Part of the Springer Geography book series (SPRINGERGEOGR)


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.


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


  1. Braund P, Schwittay A (2006) The missing piece: human-driven design and research in ICT and development. In: 2006 international conference on information and communication technologies and development. IEEE, pp 2–10Google Scholar
  2. Dunne D, Martin R (2006) Design thinking and how it will change management education: an interview and discussion. Acad Manag Learn Edu 5(4):512–523. Scholar
  3. Galdeano-Gómez E, Aznar-Sánchez JA, Pérez-Mesa JC (2011) The complexity of theories on rural development in Europe: an analysis of the paradigmatic case of Almeria (South-East Spain). Sociol Rural 51(1):54–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ganesh S, Zoller HM (2012) Dialogue, activism, and democratic social change. Commun Theory 22(1):66–91CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Kapuire GK, Winschiers-Theophilus H, Chivuno-Kurio S, Bidwell NJ, Blake E (2010) Revolution in ICT, the last hope for African rural communities’ technology appropriationGoogle Scholar
  6. Nieusma D (2004) Alternative design scholarship: working toward appropriate design. Des Issues 20(3):13–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Razzouk R, Shute V (2012) What is design thinking and why is it important? Rev Educ Res 82(3):330–348CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Sorrells K (2015) Intercultural communication: Globalization and social justice. Sage, Los AngelesGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hugh Downs School of Human CommunicationArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  2. 2.Department of ArchitectureJadavpur UniversityKolkataIndia

Personalised recommendations