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Durham University

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Staff Profile

Mr Kai Weise

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Biography

Kai Weise is a Nepali national of Swiss origin holding a studentship at Durham's Global Challenge Research Fund Centre for Doctoral Training (GCRF CDT). He completed his Masters in Architecture from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich in 1992 and has been working as a planner and architect in the Himalayan Region. As an architect he has worked on a wide range of projects, showing particular interest in educational institutions, such as school and university designs. He worked on the municipal planning of Madyapur Thimi from 1997 to 2005. Kai Weise has been working in various capacities as a UNESCO consultant. He has facilitated the establishment of management systems for World Heritage properties such as Kathmandu Valley and Lumbini in Nepal, Samarkand in Uzbekistan, and has worked on the Mountain Railways of India as well as Bagan and Mrauk U in Myanmar. Kai Weise was mentor for the Second Cycle of Periodic Reporting on the application of the World Heritage Convention of cultural properties in South and Central Asia. He has been involved in establishing Heritage Impact Assessment in Nepal, promoting disaster risk management for cultural heritage sites and organizing workshops and symposiums to address issues of heritage conservation. Kai Weise re-established ICOMOS Nepal in 2013 and is in the third term of being president of the organization. After the Gorkha Earthquake of 25 April 2015, Kai Weise was responsible for coordinating culture sector response and helped establish the Earthquake Response Coordination Office (ERCO) at the Department of Archaeology. He was again involved in the strategic response and rehabilitation planning and coordination after the Chauk Earthquake of 24 August 2016 in Myanmar. Kai Weise has lectured in various universities in Nepal, Switzerland, Japan, India, China and the Republic of Korea. Kai Weise has been contributing to numerous publications and international journal and has since 2010 been writing a weekly column in the Himalayan Times on architecture, planning and heritage.

Research Title

When the Shaking Stops: an evaluation of post-earthquake rehabilitation of the Kasthamandap in Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square

Abstract

The aim of the thesis is to map and evaluate the success of heritage rehabilitation approaches to a single monument in Kathmandu, the Kasthamandap, and the extent to which each intervention altered linkages with its communities. The research will review heritage rehabilitation and community engagement in recent disasters in the region as well as define the geo-physical, political, legal and historic context of Kathmandu Valley, with focus on Kasthamandap and the related communities. The research will document the changing historical and political circumstances and community involvement with Kasthamandap before the earthquake, how the 2015 Gorkha Earthquakes tested the systems, community as well as the monument and the struggle with post-disaster rehabilitation. Discussions will focus on issues related to communities and their involvement in post-earthquake rehabilitation, resilience and sustainable development.

Publications

  • Weise, K. 2017. "Cultural Continuity and Community, Responding to the 2015 Earthquake in Nepal" in "The Cultural Heritage of Nepal, before, during and after the 2015 Earthquakes" Oriental Cultural Heritage Sites Preservation Alliance, Paris, France and Vajra Books, Kathmandu, pp.78-90
  • Gautam, D., Rodrigues, H. & Weise, K. 2017. "Response and Rehabilitation of Historic Monuments after the Gorkha Earthquake", in Impacts and Insights of the Gorkha Earthquake,edited by Gautam, D. and Rodrigues, published by Elsevier Inc., pp. 65-94.
  • Weise, K. 2016. "Mount Kailash, the physical and immaterial landscapes: a Nepalese perspective" in Context, built, living and natural: Journal of the Development and Research Organization for Nature, Art and Heritage and Aryan Books International, India, pp. 11-18
  • Weise, K. 2016. "Damage and continuity - Kathmandu Valley after the Gorkha Earthquake 2015" in Context, built, living and natural: Journal of the Development and Research Organization for Nature, Art and Heritage and Aryan Books International, India Volume XII August 2016 pp.31-4
  • Weise, K. 2016. "Cultural Continuity in Post Gorkha Earthquake Rehabilitation" article in Engineers' Technical Journal, Special Issue on Gorkha Earthquake 2015, Volume XLII-E30-Issue 1, July 2016, Kathmandu, pp. 99-102
  • Weise, K. 2016. "Safeguarding Bagan: Endeavours, challenges and strategies", Journal on Heritage Management, joint publication of the Centre for Heritage Management, Ahmedabad University and SAGE, Volume 1, Issue 1 June 2016 pp. 68-84
  • Weise, K. 2016. "Damage and continuity - Kathmandu Valley after the Gorkha Earthquake 2015" in Context, built, living and natural: Journal of the Development and Research Organization for Nature, Art and Heritage and Aryan Books International, India Volume XII August 2016 pp.31-42
  • Weise, K. (Ed) 2015 "Revisiting Kathmandu Document on safeguarding living urban heritage" UNESCO Office in Kathmandu and World Heritage Institute for Training and Research for Asia and the Pacific (WHITR-AP)
  • Weise, K. 2015. "Wooden Architectural Heritage and Authenticity in South Asia: colonial legacy and the dilemma of conserving living heritage" in "Revisiting the Philosophy of Preserving Wooden Structures: Restoration Method for Wooden Structures and Its Philosophy", Published by Cultural Heritage
    Protection Cooperation Office, Asia-Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU), Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan, 2015, pp. 56-71
  • Weise, K. 2015. "Cultural continuity through cyclical renewal - Responding to the 2015 earthquake in Nepal" in Marmar-ist Magazine, Istanbul Turkey, Number 54, Fall 2015, pp. 27-33
  • Weise, K. 2014. "Management of Living Urban World Heritage: Kathmandu Valley" in Context, built, living and natural: Journal of the Development and Research Organization for Nature, Art and Heritage, Volume X, Issue 2 Winter 2013/ Spring 2014, pp. 125-134
  • Weise, K. 2013. "Conservation of Wooden Elements in the Architectural Heritage of Nepal" in "Revisiting the Philosophy of Preserving Wooden Structures: Restoration Method for Wooden Structures and Its Philosophy", Published by Cultural Heritage Protection Cooperation Office, Asia-Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU), Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan, pp. 41 - 53
  • Weise, K. 2013. "Managing the Sacred Garden of Lumbini" in "Asian Heritage Management - contexts, concerns, and prospects", edited by Silva, K. and Chagagain, N., Published by Routledge, London and New York, 2013, pp. 122 - 138
  • Weise, K. (Ed) 2013 "Perceptions of the Sacred Garden: Perceptions of Buddha's birthplace" (Edited) UNESCO Office in Kathmandu and Oriental Cultural Heritage Site Preservation Alliance
  • Weise, K. 2012. "Safeguarding Traditional Painting Skills in Nepal" in "Human Resources Development for the Transmission of Traditional Skills: Building Decoration with a Focus around Painting and Colouring" Published by Cultural Heritage Protection Cooperation Office, Asia-Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU), Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan, pp. 43 - 56
  • Dingwell, P., Kawakami, K. & Weise, K. 2012. "Understanding World Heritage in Asia and the Pacific: The Second Cycle of Periodic Reporting 2010-2012" World Heritage Papers Series #35 UNESCO / World Heritage Centre, Paris (also translated into Russian in 2013) Editorial Board meeting in Paris May 20 - 25 2012

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