Nepali Vernacular Aesthetics in New Light

Master's Thesis


My thesis aims to explore the potential of translating the vernacular traditional aesthetic of my home country Nepal into contemporary objects that promote cultural and emotional resonance, primarily through the medium of light fixtures.

Nepal is largely known for being an adventure destination for Himalayan trekking, mountaineering and adventure tourism but also for our unique culture and artistic heritage, as encapsulated in architecture, textiles and crafts. Our distinct Nepali aesthetics have been passed down through generations by skilled artisans in the form of handicrafts and religious objects. But these skills and the artistic heritage they represent, are dying out, as industrialization and mass production make these less viable.

My project explores ways in which this traditional vernacular aesthetics can be reimagined through the lens of modernity and the international style sparked by the Bauhaus into an experiential environment. My aim is to infuse an often minimalist modern aesthetic with the rich intricacy of Nepalese aesthetics bringing Nepali design language into the broader global discourse. I have endeavored to remain true to our Nepali style while evolving it in ways attractive and appealing to a cosmopolitan and globally visual, emergent consumer class at home in Nepal and also across the world. Through iterative material investigation, I’ve worked to combine the timeless lessons of our vernacular tradition with the aesthetic refinement and technical virtuosity of modernism.


Attribute NameValues
Alternate Title
  • Nepali Vernacular Aesthetics in New Light

Author Shreejan Shrestha
Contributor Ann-Marie Conrado, Research Director
Degree Level Master's Thesis
Degree Discipline Art, Art History, and Design
Degree Name Master of Fine Arts
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Defense Date
  • 2019-04-09

Submission Date 2019-04-09
Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

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