Diplomacy and the Design School: The Ford Foundation and India’s National Institute of Design

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article explores the Cold War context for the relationship between India’s National Institute of Design and its US funder, the Ford Foundation. Drawing on Ford Foundation archives to examine the complexities of philanthropic funds for US diplomacy with India, this article acknowledges US hegemony in design and modernization discourse, while also balancing it with attention to the reciprocal flows of knowledge between the West and the global South. This article examines the impact of design networks and expertise on international political and economic negotiations, and argues that Indian nationalism, both at the government level and in the design school, influenced Ford Foundation activities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-224
Number of pages18
JournalDesign and Culture
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2017

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Design and Culture on 28/06/2017, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/17547075.2017.1322876


  • Cold War
  • cultural diplomacy
  • design
  • pedagogy
  • National Institute of Design
  • India
  • nationalism
  • Ford Foundation


Dive into the research topics of 'Diplomacy and the Design School: The Ford Foundation and India’s National Institute of Design'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this