Huxley Speaker Series 3/1/18: Laura Rose: Mt Everest Culture

Posted: Friday, February 23, 2018 - 3:59pm

Date: Thursday, March 1, 2018 - 4:00pm

Location: AW-204

The Deboche Project:  Rebuilding and revitalizing the historic Deboche Nunnery, an integral link to the preservation of Tibetan/ Buddhist traditions and Sherpa culture

Nestled into the foothills of Mt. Everest, the small Deboche convent is considered to be the oldest and most historically significant Buddhist nunnery in the Himalayan region, playing a key role in preserving Tibetan/ Buddhist traditions and Sherpa culture since the early 1920’s. Over time the buildings fell into disrepair and neglect, creating unsafe and harsh living conditions for the remaining resident nuns (Anis) and placing the convent’s future in jeopardy

The Deboche Project is an organized effort to renew and vitalize the struggling convent. Various projects have been completed, such as the provision of running water, sanitary facilities, a greenhouse, stoves and a working kitchen. Currently under construction is a new facility with residences and a teaching space to support the study and practice for both the resident nuns and those visiting from other convents. It will also serve as place to gather and celebrate Tibetan/Sherpa culture and Buddhist traditions for the people living within the Everest region.

This presentation will cover the story of the Deboche Anis, the project approach by the Deboche Project team and the Architects Without Borders team, an overview of the 2015 earthquake impacts and a construction update on the new residential/teaching facility.

Laura Rose is the Deboche Project Lead for Architects Without Borders (AWB), Seattle Chapter. AWB provides pro-bono ecologically sensitive and culturally appropriate design assistance to communities both locally and internationally.

She also serves as a Board Member/ Project Lead for the Deboche Project sponsor team.

Laura earned her architecture degree from Washington State University and an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. After a few stints with architectural firms in Vail, Co. and Seattle, the lion’s share of her career was in-house at REI, leading store design projects and architectural consultant teams. 


This talk is co-sponosored by WWU's Mountain Environments Research Institute and is part of the Mt. Everest Cultural and Environmental Conservation Forum.
       See for more information on events immediately following Laura's talk.


The Huxley Speaker Series is hosted by Huxley College of the Environment, at Western Washington University.

The Series is free and open to the public. Presentations are held each Thursday at 4:00 in the Academic Center West (AW-204) on the WWU campus in Bellingham, WA.

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