Chatterjee was executive director of National Institute of Design (NID) from 1975-85, and thanks to his input, the NID in Ahmedabad became internationally recognized as one of the foremost institutions in the field of design education, research and training.
In 1975, NID was invited to be involved with the Rural University, a new concept in education and rural development initiated by Professor Ravi Matthai, first director of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad. Ashoke Chatterjee became part of the Rural University team that worked with people of the Jawaja block, which included about 200 villages with a population of approximately 80,000 people in a drought prone district of Rajasthan.
Chatterjee later became Senior Faculty Advisor for Design Management and Communication from 1985 to 1995, and a Distinguished Fellow at NID from 1995 until his retirement in 2001.
For many years, he served as honorary president of the Crafts Council of India, and has worked as a consultant in India and internationally, particularly on projects concerned with water management and environmental issues.
After more than ten years as international advisor, in 2000 Ashoke Chatterjee joined the board of directors of Aid to Artisans, a US based non-profit organization that offers practical assistance to artisans worldwide.