Thu, 30 April 2015
Last Saturday, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Kathmandu, precipitating catastrophic destruction throughout Nepal and a death toll currently marked at more than 5,000. Reports have been very bleak, with citizens taking to living outside in public spaces, fearful of more damage from aftershocks. Aid and relief efforts are slowly beginning to appear, but basic necessities such as food, water and shelter are still desperately needed.
In the face of such large-scale damage to buildings and infrastructure, architects have a professional imperative to consider their role (from near or far) in reconstruction and relief efforts. At the same time, assistance must take the long-view – for survivors, the worst part of such disasters may not have the immediate event, but the trauma and tedium of the long return to normal.
On this episode, Rajan Karmachaya, a Nepalese architect in Kathmandu, spoke with us about what it's like in Kathmandu now, and what architects can (or shouldn't) do to help. Rajan has been active in the ongoing forum discussion about what architects can do after the earthquake; please contribute to the thread or reach out to us to continue the conversation.