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Design + Environment + Law Laboratory (DEL Laboratory)

The Design + Environment + Law Laboratory (DEL Laboratory) is set up to bring a creative approach to working in contentious landscapes. We have been working on action-oriented projects where certain gaps have been identified in areas of pedagogy, practice and policy; the projects are intended to contribute to research and activism in addressing the nature-culture divide. Through art and design practices, transdisciplinary research and creative action, we explore places, investigate issues and create sensitive interventions that are more inclusive and enable adaptation to change and unpredictability.

We move design thinking out of the institution into the field, pushing towards activating and catalyzing change. We use design as a practice that stretches across inquiring, investigating and imaging ecologies, and how we engage with them. Many of the DEL Laboratory projects are run as studios at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The projects include Creative AlternativesData Gathering & Synthesis, and Transdisciplinary Design Research. Students, faculty and partners work collaboratively to produce the work (from concept to process and final outcomes) that hope to be sensitive and relevant to their contexts in order to have impact on the ground, with people and places.

The lab partners with communities, NGOs and government bodies to co-create projects that have potential impact, collaborate to bring together diverse expertise, and communicate/disseminate the work appropriately.

At the DEL Laboratory we carry out collaborative research projects, to explore the intersections between design, law, ecology, policy-making and place-making, through active engagement in the environment. We bring a design inquiry to learning and practice, towards strengthening socio-ecological relationships, making way for synchronous engagement with our environment.

Project Collaborators

  • MS Swaminathan Research Foundation, Community Agrobiodiversity Centre (CAbC)
  • Forum for Law, Environment, Development and Governance (FLEDGE)
  • Dilip da Cunha and Anuradha Mathur, Department of Landscape Architecture, School of Design, University of Pennsylvania
  • Bangalore Human Sciences Initiative
  • Natural Justice, Global
  • National Biodiversity Authority, India
  • Kalpavriksh
  • Agumbe Rainforest Research Station, Madras Crocodile Bank Trust
  • Sahjeevan (NGO), Kutch, Gujarat

Project Funders

  • Shuttleworth Foundation Flash Grant
  • Andrea von Braun Foundation
  • INLAKS Ravi Sankaran Fellowship
  • National Biodiversity Authority, India
  • Kalpavriksh

For details of the projects, please visit the DEL Laboratory website at

For more information, please contact Deepta Sateesh at