nepal

In June 2016, I traveled for a week in Nepal. I explored mainly the Kathmandu Valley and the ancient city, Patan, renowned for its traditional arts. Fortunate to have as my guide the anthropologist Bruce Owens, an expert on Nepali culture, I completed a crash course in the culture and architecture of the region. I had never encountered a place where so much physical real estate is devoted to spiritual purpose, where the rituals of faith are so visually evident and woven throughout daily life privately and publically. The devastation of the April 2015 Gorkha Earthquake that claimed the lives of 8000 people and leveled countless homes, businesses, and places of worship was an omnipresent backdrop. In order to understand the extent of the problem, I met with a structural engineer working to evaluate the destruction with the Kathmandu Preservation Trust as well as architects developing innovative, earthquake-resistant building technologies.