Conference article

A new social design framework to challenge assumptions in research projects in LMICs

Chamithri Greru
London College of Communication, University of the Arts London, UK

Alison Prendiville
London College of Communication, University of the Arts London, UK

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Published in: ServDes.2020 Tensions, Paradoxes and Plurality Conference Proceedings, 2-5th February 2021, Melbourne, Australia

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 173:68, p. 608-609

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Published: 2020-12-22

ISBN: 978-91-7929-779-4

ISSN: 1650-3686 (print), 1650-3740 (online)


Conducting research in low-to-middle income countries (LMICs) has become a top priority for funding organisations based in the Global North through which they deploy ‘development’ and ‘aid’ projects targeting fragile systems. However, such projects tend to further exacerbate the inequalities they bring about with tainting transfer of aid, technical and design assistance from Global North to Global South. This workshop aims to produce a set of guidelines and a new social design framework based on design ethics to encounter implications of these asymmetries. Drawing from two projects that run between the UK and India, participants will be asked to critically evaluate how we might engage with ‘pluriversality’ in complex design projects by speculating through real world ethics scenarios. It will encourage us to think beyond typical human dimension in social design to consider an intra-act among human, non-human, visible and invisible relationships that humans make with animals, microbes and the environment.


social design, design framework, pluriversality, ethics, LMICS


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