U.S. Embassy officials participated in the closing ceremony of an Industrial Design workshop, on August 5 at Kathmandu University’s Center for Art and Design on August 5. For two weeks, 26 students and working professionals participated in the workshop to improve their handicraft product design skills.
Sponsored by the U.S. Embassy, the workshop was a pilot program held by Notre Dame University Professor Ann-Marie Conrado. The program is part of a larger initiative to strengthen and diversify Nepal’s handicraft industry so that more Nepali handicrafts can be exported to Western markets. The Pokhara-based Hope Initiative, founded by Ms. Conrado, received $73,280 from the U.S. Department of State Innovation Fund to develop and implement this new curriculum on handicraft product design in Nepal.
The closing ceremony was a creative culmination of the work of students, who used traditional Nepali techniques in paper-making, silk screening and other fields to create new designs for the handicraft industry. Michael Goldman, Acting Deputy Chief of Mission, attended the ceremony and praised the students’ final projects.
Throughout the workshop, Ms. Conrado highlighted the export potential for Nepal’s handicraft industry and demonstrated how improved design can improve the handicraft industry’s export potential. Kathmandu University will be incorporating industrial design elements into its art curriculum and is planning industrial design workshops and certificate programs in the future.