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Kush Patel


Dr Kush Patel

Area of Practice

Educator, Writer, and Public Scholar (Architectural History and Theory; Design Studies; Public Humanities; Digital Humanities)


PhD in Architecture, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (with Certificate: U-M Graduate Teacher, Center for Research on Learning and Teaching)

MSc in Architectural Design Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

MArch in Urban Design, CEPT University, Ahmedabad

BArch, South Gujarat University, Surat

Work Experience

  • Academic Excellence Chair and Associate Professor of Architecture and Humanities, Avani Institute of Design, Calicut
  • Associate Faculty Librarian of Digital Pedagogy, University of Michigan Library, Ann Arbor
  • Assistant Director of Academic Programming and Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities and Michigan Humanities Collaboratory, Ann Arbor
  • Public Humanities Fellow, University of Michigan Rackham Graduate School, Ann Arbor
  • Teaching Fellow, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and CEPT University, Ahmedabad
  • PhD Researcher, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • Project Associate, Environmental Planning Collaborative, Ahmedabad
  • Research Associate, School of Architecture, CEPT University, Ahmedabad
  • Project Assistant, Jain Associates, Ahmedabad and Nagaur

Interest Areas

Questions of participatory politics, social production of space, and queer feminist histories, working with forms of knowledge and expertise across voice and social difference; Anti-colonial digital humanities pedagogy, public scholarship, community-engaged learning and archiving; Architecture, infrastructure, and the city.

Current Practice at Srishti

Domains include Technology and Change; Contemporary Art Practice; Critical Design and Digital Humanities Pedagogy; Just Futures Transdisciplinary Research

Creative Practice and Outreach

Co-lead and co-founder of the Pedagogy of the Digitally Oppressed Collective (read here), which is a transnational public scholarship practice that fosters queer, feminist, and anti-colonial approaches to digital humanities teaching through academic talks, writings, and teaching across a range of peer- and community-reviewed conferences, platforms, sites, and publications,

Editorial Board Member, Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy (JITP), City University of New York (CUNY), 2022-Present.

Topic Editor (with Danica Savonick), Reviews in DH, a peer-reviewed journal and project registry in critical digital humanities, 2023-Present,



Selected Engagements:

Academic and Special Topic Editing

  • “The Liberatory Legacy of bell hooks: Pedagogies and Praxes that Heal and Disrupt,” co-editor with Nikki Fragala Barnes, University of Central Florida; Summer L. Hamilton, Pennsylvania State University; Asma Neblett, The Graduate Center, CUNY; and Danica Savonick, SUNY Cortland, JITP Issue 23, December 2023.

Paper Presentations

  • “Queer Making,” A Research-Creation Episteme? Practice-based Research and Institutional Critique, Trent University, October 2023.
  • “Biographical Critiques as Critical Feminist DH Pedagogy” with Anne Cong-Huyen, Aditi Bhat, Gayatri Shanbhag, and M. Nithya Kirti, Global DH Symposium, Michigan State University, March 2023; Proceedings.
  • “Care Matters and Justice Dreams: Design Studio Framework, Works, and Insights for Anti-colonial Digital Humanities Praxis” with Sai Vidyasri Giridharan and Shamanth Joshi, International Critical Digital Humanities International Conference, CDHI, Digital Humanities Network, University of Toronto, October 2022; Proceedings.
  • “Defining the Transnational through Anti-colonial Digital Humanities Pedagogy” with Ashley Caranto Morford and Arun Jacob, DHARTI, February 2022 and Global DH Symposium, Michigan State University, March 2022.
  • “Pedagogy of the Digitally Oppressed: Anti-Colonial DH Pedagogy as Care Work” with Ashley Caranto Morford and Arun Jacob, Making the Net Work, The Canadian Society of Digital Humanities/La Société Canadienne des Humanités Numériques (CSDH/SCHN), June 2021.
  • “Framing Justice, Framing Survival: Questions of Safety in Design Pedagogies,” Just Environments: Transdisciplinary Border Crossings, Environmental Design Research Association 52 Detroit, May 2021.

Workshop Design and Lead

  • “Pedagogy of the Digitally Oppressed: Anti-Colonial DH Methods and Praxis” with Ashley Caranto Morford and Arun Jacob, DHSI University of Victoria, BC, June 2019, 2021, 2022, 2023.
  • “Introduction to Anti-colonial Digital Humanities Virtual Workshop” with Ashley Caranto Morford and Arun Jacob, Faculty Development Program, Office of the Provost, Columbia College-Chicago, May 2022.
  • “Pedagogy of the Digitally Oppressed: Practicing Anti-Colonial DH Pedagogy and Research” with Ashley Caranto Morford and Arun Jacob (University of Toronto), DH2020 Ottawa, June 2020, 2021.
  • “Pedagogy of the Digitally Oppressed: Reprogramming Wikipedia to Decolonize Classroom Learning” with Ashley Caranto Morford and Arun Jacob, HASTAC Conference: Decolonizing Technologies, Reprogramming Education,” Vancouver, BC, May 2019.
  • “Practicing Digital Pedagogy Librarianship: Building Critical and Queer Feminist Communities” with Anne Cong-Huyen, Critical Librarianship and Pedagogy Symposium, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, November 2018 (archived in the University of Arizona repository),

Roundtable Organization and Participation

  • “The Anti-Colonial DH School,” Critical Making and Social Justice, HASTAC 2023, Pratt Institute, NYC; Participants: Anne Cong-Huyen, Kush Patel; Ashley Caranto Morford, Arun Jacob, Latoya Lee, Michelle Lee Brown, Palashi Vaghela, June 2023.
  • “Digital Threads: Anti-colonial Storytelling and Community Building Through Twine,” DH Unbound 2022; Participants: Natalia Toronchuk, Zeinab Farokhi, Anna Maria Kalinowski, Arun Jacob, Ashley Caranto Morford, Kush Patel, May 2022.
  • “Precarious Labor and Radical Care in Digital and Public Humanities,” HASTAC Conference: Decolonizing Technologies, Reprogramming Education,” Vancouver, BC; Participants: Anne Cong- Huyen, Nicola Andrews, Dhanashree Thorat, Kush Patel, May 2019.

Panel Organization and Participation:

  • “Inclusive Digital Pedagogy: Theory and Praxis” with Katherine Walden, Anelise Hanson Shrout, Lisa Tagliaferri, Anne Cong-Huyen, Simon Appleford, Rebekah Walker, Danica Savonick, Tiffany Salter, and Joe Bauer, The Association of Computers and the Humanities (ACH), Pittsburgh, PA, July 2019.
  • “En-Compassing Latitudes: Methodologies, Pedagogies, and Trajectories of Global DH” with Anne Cong-Huyen, Viola Lasmana, Global DH Conference, Michigan State University, East Lansing, March 2019.
  • “Nurturing Citizen Scholarship: Civic Education and Digital Learning in the Neoliberal University” with Brandon Locke, kynita stringer-stanback, Chelsea Heinbach, and Rikk Mulligan, DLF 2018 Forum, Las Vegas, October 2018.

Invited Talks:

  • “Care work as Method, Pedagogy, and Praxis,” School of Environment and Architecture (SEA) Mumbai Symposium, November 2023.
  • “Queer Scaffolds,” University Arts London (UAL) FUEL4Design: Future Education and Literacy for Designers (convened by Betti Marenko, Silke Lange, Pras Gunasekera), June 2022).
  • “Caregiving as Method,” Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) Panel and Workshop organized by Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi, and co-presented with Jay Cephas, Lilian Chee, Elis Mendoza, Ikem Stanley Okoye, Itohan Osayimwese, Peg Rawes, Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi, and Delia Wendel, September 2021.


Selected Publications

Journal Articles

  • “Pulling Closer: Caregiving as Method Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3,” co-authored with Delia Duong Ba Wendel, PLATFORM, November-December 2023.
  • “Kinship as Keyword,” gta papers 7: Care, edited by Gabrielle Schaad, Torsten Lange (Institute for History and Theory of Architecture at ETH Zurich), December 2022.
  • “Framing Survival: Questions of Safe Space in Design Pedagogies” in collaboration with Johnson Jament and Merin Mathew. In Pedagogies For A Broken World, JAE (Journal of Architectural Education) 76:2, edited by Jay Cephas, Igor Marjanović, Ana Miljački, October 2022, DOI.
  • “Pedagogy of the Digitally Oppressed: Futurities, Imaginings, Responsibilities, and Ethics for Anti-Colonial DH Praxis,” co-authored with Ashley Caranto Morford and Arun Jacob. In Digital Studies/Le champ numérique, May 2021, DOI.
  • “Dodgy Scholars: Resisting the Neoliberal Academy,” co-authored with Blu Buchanan. In Erica Kohl-Arenas and Robyn M Rodriguez (guest eds), “Public Scholarship, Place, and Proximity,” PUBLIC: A Journal of Imagining America, Volume 5, Issue 1, August 2018, DOI.

Book Chapters

  • “Workshops in Anti-Colonial Digital Humanities: Towards Building Relationships with Critical University and Community Movements,” co-authored with Ashley Caranto Morford and Arun Jacob. In Digital Humanities Workshops: Lessons Learned, edited by Laura Estill and Jennifer Guiliano, Routledge UK, February 2023, pp. 117-127.
  • “Precarious Labor and Radical Care in Libraries,” co-authored with Anne Cong-Huyen. In Knowledge Justice: Disrupting Library and Information Science through Critical Race Theory, edited by Sofia Leung and Jorge R. López-McKnight, The MIT Press, April 2021, pp. 263-282.
  • “Queer Disclosures, Queer Refusals: Notes on Survival Praxis in Architecture and Academia,” Gender and Academic Leadership in Architecture in India, Research Symposium Proceedings edited by Kush Patel and Soumini Raja, Calicut: Avani Institute of Design, March 2021, pp. 119-129.


  • “Anti-colonial Relations: Co-liberating Worlds in Digital Humanities Pedagogy and Praxis” (eds. With Ashley Caranto Morford and Arun Jacob), Punctum Books, USA (Under Contract).
  • “Gender and Academic Leadership in Architecture in India” (ed. with Soumini Raja), Calicut: Avani Institute of Design, March 2021. ISBN: 978-93-5445-910-8.

Public Writings and Digital Media

  • “Care,” Teacher of the Ear Podcast, Hybrid Pedagogy Episode with Ashley Caranto Morford, Arun Jacob, and Chris Friend, November 2021:
  • “Instant Proceedings: Roundtable, Feminist Networks and Academic Leadership,” Gender and Academic Leadership in Architecture in India Symposium, edited by Madhavi Desai, Anuradha Chatterjee, and Kush Patel. Calicut: Avani Institute of Design, 2020.
  • “Learning with Detroit: Place, Politics, and Pedagogies,” Rackham Graduate School, University of Michigan, January 2017:

Recent Units Facilitated

MA in Technology and Change Course Units:

+ Gender and Technology (Theory and Understanding Seminar)

+ Care Matters and Justice Dreams (Studio)

+ If Technology Will Not Save Us, What Will? (Theory and Understanding Seminar)

+ Decolonizing Design? (Studio Integrated Theory and Understanding Seminar)

+ Letters to Futures: Just Design Writing (Theory and Understanding Seminar)

+ Just Futures Co-lab Stewardship ( and PG Capstone Mentorship (Transdisciplinary Research)

+ Introduction to Digital Storytelling Committed to Anti-Colonialism (MAHE Summer School)

Doctoral Program in Art, Design, and Transdisciplinary Studies:

+ Feminist and Queer Worldmaking (Seminar)

Projects showcase:


Care Matters and Justice Dreams invited MA and M.Des students across the SMI art and design clusters to produce care work biographies of their interactions with technology. The first iteration of this studio produced 10 student-led narratives, covering a range of critiques from period-tracking gender exclusive apps and thinking with online mutual-aid networks to mental health effects of and counters with social media such as Twitter and Instagram.

Image: Cover page of Shamanth Joshi’s Twine story called “Identity Games” (December 2021) [Private]. As a self-reflective account of how binary roles and bodies attached to video game characters have shaped their understanding of gender identity, Identity Games calls attention to how game design and designers play with us by reproducing cis-het logics in structure and representation.

Image: Studio participants with visiting peers, undergraduate students, and faculty members during the semester-end studio exhibition (December 2022). The second iteration of Care Matters and Justice Dreams studio invited students to produce biographical critiques of care work involving technological systems, including, but not limited to, digital technologies that track, surveil, or characterize people’s lives around measures of health, gender, sexuality, labour, caste, and even dignity.

The studio integrated seminar on Decolonizing Design? followed Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang’s reminder that “Decolonization is Not a Metaphor” (2012) to question and unpack the received ontologies and logics of design, building a critical understanding of how design technologies, including digital technologies, can be colonizing strategies when practiced as apolitical and ahistorical tools that aid or exacerbate oppression, both land- and community-based.


Image: Annotation of course materials on not only facilitated reading, annotating, and discussion in community both asynchronously and synchronously, but also served as a living set of references and notes for all participating seminar members throughout the semester and beyond.


Image: Alongside individually authored interactive games and critical essays, the second iteration of Care Matters and Justice Dreams Studio produced a publicly accessible low-tech compendium piece to the course matter and student works in a limited edition of 15 in collaboration with artist Neeraja D’s SUPW (Super WomXn) print practice. Please get in touch with me if you would like to access this material.


“The Office of Anti-Inequity and Anti-Exclusive Excellence” was a response to the Interlude 2022 theme of Inhabiting Learning as well as the sub-theme of our working group entitled Scaffolds: As both in-situ forms and pedagogical supports, scaffolds draw attention to the making, maintaining, and repairing of structures that render the experience of learning possible or even deliberately impossible for people. How might we conceive of new institution-ing scaffolds and its labor to achieve the desired goals of a cooperative, just, and liberatory education not just temporarily but also ongoingly?


Image: This zine of archival metadata connecting the personal to the structural via the institutional was co-produced by members of the Office of Anti-Inequity and Anti-Exclusive Excellence from February 28, 2022, to March 25, 2022. It was one of the three core forms of representing and translating the structuring questions of the working group Scaffolds, with the other two materials being an annotated layering of the institution’s vision and mission statements with call for further dialogue as a public performance and an open letter to institutional leadership, indexing each of these citations.



Just Futures Co-lab and Public Seminar Series



Image: Seminars integrated into the MA in Technology and Change studio and Just Futures Co-lab program constitute a space for engaged scholarship and pedagogy, complementing and deepening discourse building in critical design and digital humanities at the post-graduate level at SMI. To learn more about the lab, please visit: Just Futures Co-lab