Leveraging Indigenous Knowledge, Collaboration, and Emergent Technology

Format: Papers, RSD10, Topic: Culture & Society, Topic: Socioecological Design

Twisha Mehta and Jenny Bentley

How to embrace tensions in conservation interventions in a vulnerable Himalayan region

Our case study is set in Lachen, a remote village in an ecologically vulnerable Himalayan region in Sikkim, India. Numerous conservation initiatives have been planned and implemented in the region but didn’t necessarily succeed due to the cultural, political and geographical complexities of the place. As a team of designers and an anthropologist, we tackle these complexities through a systems thinking approach, one that has led to designing an interpretation centre in the region via co-creation. In the initial stages of our project, we found tensions in perspectives and values within the system that drove us to seek innovative ways to embrace these paradoxes by using ethnographic methodologies and emergent technologies to rapidly reconstruct relations in this system. Through this paper, we ask how we can measure the impact of this resilient model and how we can find ways of improved mutual communication between the multidisciplinary collaborators in order to enhance understanding of the modalities of a systems thinking design approach.

Keywords: conservation, Himalayas, systems thinking, indigenous knowledge, emergent technologies

Citation Data

Author(s): Twisha Mehta and Jenny Bentley
Title: Leveraging Indigenous Knowledge, Collaboration, and Emergent Technology
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Article No.:
Symposium Dates:
First published: 3 September 2021
Last update:
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Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (ISSN 2371-8404) are published annually by the Systemic Design Association, a non-profit scholarly association leading the research and practice of design for complex systems: 3803 Tønsberg, Norway (922 275 696).


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