On Continuity and Identity: Post-School Nepal.
This project aims to research and build generous spaces for communities under stress in Nepal. As in most other developing countries, good education is considered a key element in the process of progression and self-actualisation in Nepal. Unfortunately however, this objective has been sought in the greatest possible resemblance to the richer West. As a result, Nepali schools have become places where children are raised to be so called ‘citizens of the world’ (or rather the West), with little relationship to their local traditions or their environment. This is reflected in the curriculum (which focuses on the teaching on the English language), as well as in the architectural design of the schools. While education used to be organized informally in the domestic context, today Nepali children are raised in institutions that risk alienating them from their cultural backgrounds.
Over the course of history, the gap between the ‘home’ and the ‘school’ environment was further deepened. During the 1970s, the Nepali government took the initiative to organize public education on a national level, thereby cutting the school completely loose from the community. A discontinuity emerged in the transferring of traditional knowledge of crafts and (vernacular) building techniques, since these had belonged to the domestic environment to which the school wanted to be the antipode. This project aims to design a learning environment that unites the local with the globalized, the traditional with the contemporary on both a programmatic and architectural level.
A2I researcher working on project: Hilde Bouchez
Image source: Ignaas Back