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Personal profile


B. Arch., Manipal Institute of Technology, Mangalore University, India

Master of City Planning, School of Design (previously Graduate School of Fine Arts), University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA

PhD (Art, Design & Interdisciplinary Studies), Manipal Academy of Higher Education, India. Doctoral Research Title: “Reimag(in)ing the Western Ghats of India – Situated Knowledge Perspectives for a New Ground of Wetness”.

Professional Information

Doctor of Philosophy in Art, Design & Transdisciplinary Studies, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, India. June 2021. Focus: Wet Ontologies, Situated Knowledges, Art and Design Research.

Master of City Planning, Department of City & Regional Planning, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA. May 2000. Focus: Sustainable Development & Environmental Planning.

Bachelor of Architecture, Manipal Institute of Technology, Mangalore University, India. July 1998. Focus: Climate-sensitive Design, Urban Design & Sustainability.

Research Interests

Design Research Environment & Ecology; Decoloniality Studies; Environmental Humanities; Wet Ontologies; Environmental Philosophy; Transdisciplinary Research Context-Sensitive Design; Architecture & Materials; Sustainabilty; Sustainable Development; Weather & Climate Change; Socio-Ecological Relationships; Ecological Justice; Law & Policy Design; Environmental Education; Indigenous Knowledge Systems; Movement Arts & Movement Research; Multispecies Methods; More-than-Human Worlds; Monsoon, Rain & Water; Everyday Sustainable Practices; Transit-Oriented Development; Regional Planning; Environmental Planning


  • Worked as an Urban & Regional Planner & Strategist
  • Experienced in institutional planning, urban design, and sustainable development policy
  • Worked as an environmental leader, planner and designer on projects in China, Korea, Vietnam & USA, in the public and private sectors
  • Worked on projects that include the Olympic Green Master Plan for the Beijing Olympics 2008, Thu Thiem Redevelopment Project in Ho Chi Minh City, and the Huangpu Riverfront Development Project in Shanghai
  • Worked with both public and private sectors with an emphasis upon ecological sensibility, sustainability strategies and cultural integrity

Creative Works

1. Film Series: Thinking in the World No. 3
Deepta Sateesh & Marcello di Paola have a conversation about cities, drawing lines, environment, weather, and agency, to initiate critical thought and creative action. Marcello and Deepta are both members of the Consortium of Environmental Philosophers. 

2. Home: When Feet Dwell
Keynote: “Home: When Feet Dwell”. Avani Institute of Design Research Symposium, 4 September 2021 -

3. Webinar: Design for Conservation Futures
Webinar held on 17th January 2019 -

4. TEDx Talk: Design Imagination - Innovation to Invention
TEDx Talk on 15 February 2015 hosted by Narsi Monji Institute of Management Studies, Bangalore -

5. Presentation: "Wet Ontologies"
Collaborative video presentation on Eco-Pedagogies with Dr. Laura Denning, for Annual Conference of the Royal Geographic Society with IBG (2 September 2021), and Multiple Ecologies PhD Symposium (University of Plymouth) -

6. Sustainable Development Goals & Climate Resilient Strategies, Wayanad, Kerala (2018/19) -

7. "Climate change creeps up on Wayanad, Cong leader says should be top of agenda for next MP", Business Standard, 2019 -

8. "Tile Colonialism", India in Transition, CASI UPenn, 2017 -

9. "Dystopia in Pulpally Forest", FLEDGE Blog, 2018 -

10. "Creative meets Critical", Education Plus, The Hindu, 2015 -

11. "The Journey of a Book", Metro Plus The Hindu, 2014 -

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land


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