Syncretism 5.0: Could Design Become a Meta-religion for Global Communion?

  • Chitra Chandrashekhar
Conference paper
Part of the Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies book series (SIST, volume 66)


Happiness, is every human’s ultimate desire. Good, Bad, Right, Wrong, Morals, Ethics, Justice, Harmony, Unity and Peace, Do they matter? Unity and Harmony are virtues, every Designer, strives for in finding ‘humane’ solutions to ‘wicked’ problems. These virtues appear to be rather elusive to sustain throughout human history. Yet, through the crests and valleys of civilizations, people have managed to co-exist and behave somewhat synchronously across generations. How? This paper is a Designer’s attempt to understand ‘Design’ through the analogy of ‘Religion’ both in the traditional and modern sense. It studies the ‘syncretic’ ability of ‘religion’ to build and maintain cohesive communities over long spans of time and suggests how Design can emulate that prowess in addressing world’s urgent problems. By examining trends and developments in design practice, the paper suggests a vision for ‘Design’ as a ‘Dharma’ that fosters ‘Syncretism’ for a harmonious, plural, just and happy global communion.


Syncretism Design World Global communion Sustainability Socio-cultural Religion Dharma Practice Education Ubiquitous Justice Harmony Unity Peace Happiness Problem solving Co-creation Tools 



This paper would not have been without the numerous web communities that regularly and freely share thoughts, philosophies and knowledge for public access by way of books, digital repositories and online forums. Special Thanks is extended to Mr. A. Balasubramaniam for his kind support in sharing about his design projects; to Prof. Ranjan De and Prof. Arvind Lodaya for their timely, critical and helpful guidance in articulating my thoughts better. I also extend my sincere gratitude towards Mr. Amaresh Chakrabarti for his patient cooperation through typical research obstacles.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MographiesNew DelhiIndia

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