Editorial

Issue of Feburary

May 24, 2015 |

As Kathmandu experienced the closure for 4 days of it’s only International Airport in the country with the crash-landing of Turkish Airlines - it was perhaps an appropriate time to also reflect on the countries disaster preparedness systems. On a similar note - Earthquake preparedness is an issue we at SPACES feel strongly about and cannot stress enough for the seismic fault line Nepal lies within. January 16 was celebrated this year as the 17th annual earthquake safety day, with the weeks that followed and led up to the day being devoted to earthquake awareness and preparedness campaigns.

Our cover stories Communities for safer cities and Buildings that will bear the brunt look at various ways in which earthquake preparedness can be strengthened in Nepal. The first article posits that encouraging local communities to monitor government actions and implementing agencies can be crucial step in creating safer cities. The call is for municipal-level action and implementation. The second article meanwhile focuses on strengthening structural awareness and implementing suitably designed and detailed building codes to ensure seismic safety in our towns and cities.

As a country situated in one of the world’s most seismically vulnerable areas Nepal needs to be prepared to face the consequences of the next big earthquake. Preparedness in the face of possible destruction, our architectural feature this month, looks back at the 1934 earthquake to see what lessons can be learnt from the past. Buildings and monuments that survived the great earthquake or were renovated afterwards are analysed, and an architectural-historical study is made so as to present a comparative examination of how prepared we are at the present moment to face a disaster of such scale.

In more artistic realms, we explore the meaning of ‘art’, a term that has baffled humanity for millennia, as art historian Yam Prasad Sharma explores its various dimensions in Searching for a definition. The fine and decorative arts are analysed as agents of interior design in The art of interior design as we explore how works of art have served to enhance, embellish and sanctify interior spaces meant for human habitation through every period in human history.

We also take a look at the different elements that come together to make Gianantonio Candiani’s Piano B Restaurant and Wine Bar a little piece of Italy in Kathmandu. Keep calm and eat pasta explores everything from the chef-and-owner’s passion for food to the restaurant’s seamless incorporation of the latest trends in Italian wine bar design in a space whose Italian design elements have a Nepali essence to them.

We do hope you enjoy these stories and features that celebrate the beautiful things in life.

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Namaste!

Sarosh Pradhan / Editor in Chief

 


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