The Artisans Artists and Architects House (AAA House) in Leh old town aims at preserving, sustaining and developing Tibetan and Himalayan traditional crafts and building techniques.
It also aims at creating jobs, sustaining traditional skills, and creating an initiative to preserve the local fragile environment and living cultural heritage.
The centre will be a place where people meet and learn from each other, develop ideas and put these ideas into practice. It is a Himalayan ‘Bauhaus’.
THF is setting up the Artisans, Artists and Architects House (also known as “Himalayan Bauhaus”) in Leh, Ladakh.
In our conservation projects over the past two decades, we have witnessed the potential of arts and crafts in the High-Himalaya and Tibetan plateau, and found skilled artisans producing wares related to daily needs, life-style and cultural tradition. We have also witnessed rapid changes in the region brought by waves of globalization and development, which may bring economic opportunities, but tend to destroy local markets and industries.
Our mission is to preserve unique architectural and cultural heritage of the High-Himalaya region, which requires building up human resources alongside our conservation efforts. The aim is to set up a craft guild, the AAA House, by assembling and connecting the existing craftspeople (now struggling to survive) and bring them out of isolation. Initially we plan to include carpentry (structure and furniture), masonry, painting, metalwork, weaving and textiles. Their individual skills and knowledge will be brought into the spotlight and possibilities created for their adaptation to present-day daily needs. We are confident that the focus on craftsmanship will contribute to a new vernacular architecture, based on traditional construction materials adapted to new designs, and locally unique interior décor.
This platform aims to promote educational and exchange activities. Our course will emphasize practical training and experiental knowledge, and the interaction of artisans with different skills. Students will be oriented to work closely with the local community. Exchange programmes will also be organized in the form of workshops, at local, regional or international level.
We aim to record and document traditional crafts in different media, and those materials will be archived and processed as teaching materials, or as publications to be shared with the wider public.
AAAH will be an active platform for the promotion of traditional knowledge and craftsmanship, for the exchange of ideas on integrating natural materials and the natural environment, and for the continuity of the beautiful architecture and living heritage of the High-Himalaya.
Naturally, we appeal for financial support to implement this ambitious project.