Diana Lam, 2012, Architecture

During my time in India, I worked with two partner organizations–the ­International ­Society for Ecology and Culture (ISEC) and the Ladakh Ecological Development Group (LEDeG). Both of these organizations seek to preserve traditional culture in Ladakh, a region of northern India that is environmentally fragile and quickly deteriorating due to the influx of large-scale industry. During the first phase of my internship, I lived and worked on a farm in a small village about 50km from Leh, the regional capital. There, my aim was to gain ­intimate knowledge about the culture and research methods for its preservation. Upon my return to Leh, I used this data to coordinate and ­implement a tourist ­education ­program. The program involved screening documentaries, leading workshops with ­tourists, and producing written media about the importance of both environmental and ­cultural conservation in the area. I was also able to work on a few side projects–a housing rebuild for victims of a flood that occurred the previous year and a handicrafts scheme to generate income for village women.