This was the first time away from home to a similar yet different city. This was a bizarre experience for me. German colleagues had this unknown factor to the town, Indian colleagues had the known factor, and me coming from Nepal, it was somewhere in between of this un/known. The old Delhi I have seen was from the movies and films, so I had certain expectations. Going there on the first day was ten times more chaotic than I had imagined. It took me some time to adjust and finally immerse in it to co-create the projects. I felt this tension of un/belonging in the city and the people I met there.
Returning to Nepal, I have a fresh perspective on the city here. People`s idea of verticality while having a sense of belonging, people`s priorities in creating their space around them, to control light or view the skyline. Spending ten days in Delhi makes Kathmandu 10 times more bearable and Bhaktapur ten times more lovable. I guess it is true: to love your home, you first need to be away from it.
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.
Dhiraj Manandhar is a practicing designer from the city of Bhaktapur, working in the medium of visuals, i.e., graphics and physical product designs based on co-creation and reviving traditional practices, artisans, their skills, and materials to fit the time of modernity through design.