Ayonija Maharjan


The first time being away from home and across the borders of my country, Delhi felt like Nepal but a bigger version of it. The experience there for the first 3-4 days was overwhelming as it took time to process the place and the reason why we were there. The research that we had to do was a street named Dharampura which was a street that look similar to the gallis (inner streets) in Patan, Lalitpur. The state of streets were different from our stay location to our research location. It want from peaceful fresh air to-metro- to busy business streets and gallis. Students from Nepal were okay with the crowded street and the noise as we kind of do have a similar street in Kathmandu. But our friends from Germany couldn’t stay there for much long as it would really bother them after some time.

When it comes to our research project at Dharampura, I understood that people from different backgrounds think differently. We had students from 3 different countries with 3 different backgrounds and collaborating our project was very interesting as we were all the same street in 3 different perspectives and understandings. It helped me realize that we also need to step out of my designer perspective to maybe know more

Also, being an introvert, this excursion was a big thing for me as new people are not my cup of tea. I would rather stay in the back than interact. Exploring the street for 3 days I had so much in my mind, and so many questions but the only way to get those answers were to interact with the people around me. After a few days passed by, I got comfortable with the group of India and Germany and also comfortable with starting a conversation with at least thinking thrice on how to do it. But this was a great experience to improve me personally.

Lastly, it was a realization. We had 10 days on our hands with 2 days for travel, 3 days at college, and 5 days on our research site. We accumulated so much knowledge on the transformation of the street of Dharampura in 5 days and still felt there were so many details left behind to collect and understand. So, I thought to myself, if I could understand with such as interest about a street away from home in another country, why am I not doing the same for the streets of Patan in my home town? Being a girl who grew up in the culture of Patan, I always wanted to have a better understanding of the culture, festivals, and every street there. And now after this excursion program, I think I have understood where I should begin from.

City as a collage

Verticality for the light and its skyline

Dharampura visually came to be a collage of historical events where Jains, Muslims, and Hindus have resided in the span of its formation. Doors created by different people from different religions, cultures, beliefs, and ages have all been a collage set to persist in the city`s architecture. Along with the verticality of the building on the original first floor with doors to get the light and book people`s part of the sky. New Delhi, where people take cover from the sun, seeking shade and coolness of the metro. In old Delhi, people build vertically, getting closer to their neighbors for the light and skyline.


Participants Bio

Having a practicing art in oil painting and designing, I am a creative artist working as a jewelry designer with copper, brass, and silver with the use of semi-precious stones. I also work as a digital media consultant, designer, strategist, and visualizer for a firm since 2021. I tend to grasp and understand things more visually and the way I express my thoughts, feelings, and understanding is through Jewelry, Paintings, and Visual Graphics.

With my background studies in Development Studies and Sustainability, I look forward to practicing sustainable design.