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Karkhana Reads

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Hi all! We are a  few days late for this weeks list of fun reads. But, hey, it’s better late than never, right?


  1. Have you ever wondered why our national flag is of an unusual shape? Hmm.. I have and Hasin seems to have found this piece on the Internet that tells us why.
  2. Sakar shared this article from Edutopia that tells us about the 7 Outstanding K-8 Flexible classrooms! Follow this link to know more!
  3. Jasna, our new member at KIC, did some research and reading for our ongoing KIC class: My City. And she shared one of the articles on an Aurora-like mystery called Steve.
  4. And from 11,845 kms away, Dipesh shared with us one of the shorter readings he had the past week on Cognitive Science and Cognitive Science Education. Find the PDF here!
  5. The Mafia grew in India because of the citrus market there! Roshan shared this essay with us that tells us more on that!
  6. Sakar found us an article from The Wired that tells us about the educational tyranny of neurotypicals.

The current school system is too rigid, and it’s designed for a different world.


Okay guys! That’s the list for this week! We’ll send you more soon! Until then, happy reading!

-Mamina Shrestha

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Karkhana Reads

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Hi all! Are you ready for this week’s supply of good reads?

Let’s go!


  1. What do you think is Earth’s oldest color? Rupesh shared a piece from How Stuff Works that claims to tell us what it is! Check the link to learn more!
  2. Hasin shared with us a few readings from The Wire, The Economist and also from The Indian Express on various topics! Find our more here:
    1. From The Wire, India, Hasin read a piece about what writer and activist Arundhati Roy shared at a press conference. Read more  on that here.
    2. What keeps Singaporean education at the top of it’s game? Find out more on that here.
    3. This another article tells us more about the arrests and raids on India’s prime activists and human right advocates.
  3. Do you think afternoon classes are better than morning classes or the other way  round? Inspired by conversations between fellow teachers: Anu and Sonam, Rupesh looked up this research paper that tells us about some interesting patterns!
  4. Sunoj shared with us this article that tells us why Physics needs Arts to help picture the universe!
  5. This article that Rupesh shared tells us how the kids of today are working more and learning little.
  6. Seems like the Singaporean Government doesn’t want it’s children to just ace in exams. They have the best schools in the world, but they are looking for more! Sunoj shared this piece with us.

Happy Reading, folks! 😀

-Mamina Shrestha

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Seetu Style!

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Hi guys! This week, Seetu has a ton of appreciation to shower for her mentors: Amogh and Rupak! Want to know why? Let’s find out from Seetu herself!


I have been working as a designer for the past one and half years. It’s not easy to start off as a designer when you don’t have a senior designer you can look up to. After my first 3 months of internship as a designer, I joined an IT company where I was the only designer and it was really difficult for me to grow as I had to learn most of the things via Google. Depending totally on the Internet didn’t help me grow much. Yes, I learned many techniques from the internet but it certainly isn’t the same as having a supervisor guiding you in all the steps you take.

 

I joined Karkhana 9 months ago, in December. Here, I was introduced to a senior designer: Amogh Dhakwa. He is a part time designer at Karkhana. I was very happy to have a senior designer working with me. And on top of that, he is one of the most humble person anyone has ever met who is always calm and happy. He is also very humorous and if you ever get chance to work with him you will see him making jokes about his own designs (despite of it being awesome as it is!).

I have noticed people asking him this question very often: “Do you ever get angry?” and he answers with a big smile: “No”. And I know it’s true because, trust me, I nag him a lot!

“A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you. ”

Amogh dai has always been the mentor that I needed. He is always available online for helping me, guiding me and giving me some feedback on my designs. I feel very happy to have him as my mentor. His feedback have helped me a lot. He has always pushed me to try new things and has always encouraged me to make more illustrations. There were times when I thought I couldn’t do it and at that time, Amogh dai would be always be there to encourage me to try more. Today, I want to thank Amogh dai for all of his suggestions and feedback that have helped me a lot and has guided me to grow as a designer.

Do give a thumbs up for his awesome designs in Behance.

P.S. He has always been telling me to launch my own merch but I haven’t been able to do so (Still trying to collect all my guts :P)

~~~~~

If  you have been following this blog series, you might have seen me working on a project: “WORKBOOK” for the past few months. For this, I have been working with another senior designer Rupak Raj Sunuwar Thugucheaa. He is also a part time designer at Karkhana. He is also a mural artist.

If you happen to visit Karkhana, you are most likely to see him with his headphones on which are always as loud as our speakers! 😛 At first glance, you might take him for a serious person, but he is also very humorous! But yeah, he is very serious about his work!

We have been working together in the Workbook project. And as print work is very new to me, he has been guiding me about all the small details that matters as a designer when we send it to a printing press. It would have been impossible for me to work on it without him. This is why, I want to thank Rupak dai for all this suggestions and insights!

Do give a thumbs up for his awesome designs and murals on Behance.

Thank you my mentors! 🙂  I will always look up to you guys in the years to come!


I, on the other hand, want to thank Seetu and Amogh dai for giving me the motivation I need in making my designs. I am only taking baby steps- but trust me, I could not have done this without the push you guys give me ^_^ Your feedback and comments have helped me a lot and I can’t thank you guys enough for that! And Rupak dai, thank you for drawing me as a character in the Workbook! That should give me my own little fanbase in the world of print!

-Mamina Shrestha

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Karkhana Reads

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We’re back again for this week of interesting reads! 😀


  1. Sakar read this piece from THE WIRED, that claims humans to be better in Dota than AI. Seems like algorithms still have a long way to go! Check this link to find out more on that.
  2. Sachet stumbled upon this article from THE ATLANTIC which discusses whether the cognitive abilities of animals are getting developed with new environment.
  3. Rupesh shared with us an elaborate list prepared by the World Economic Forum that ranks 11 best school systems of the world!
  4. Amrit found the NAP website to be quite resourceful for teachers. This read here talks about lectures, demonstrations, discussions and collaborative learning and labs.
  5. Prayush read this story in THE WIRED that explores the extent of vulnerability our smartphones have put us into.

Until next time! 😀 Happy Reading!

-Mamina Shrestha

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Seetu Style

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Seetu was working in an illustrated gift for her best friend this past week. Let’s look into her journey this past week as she made a special something for her best friend!


While making digital illustrations, I start by making a rough sketch in a piece of paper. When I am done making the sketch, I scan it. 

Then, I use the sketch as a guideline for my digital drawing.

While converting my sketches into digital illustrations, there are a lot of things that I change from the initial idea. I believe that the final product doesn’t necessarily have to be same as the initial idea.

After a long process of creating the shapes, changing them and matching the colors, I finally came up with a final design for this illustration!

I made this illustration for my best friend, Garima, who was leaving for the UK for her higher studies. It took me a toil of two long nights to come up with this illustration of me and Garima. I am really happy with how the design turned out to be! ^_^

After I was done with the illustration, I thought of printing it on a bottle so that she could carry her personally customized bottle in her university and also remember to drink plenty of water 😉


Here’s a huge shoutout from Karkhana team to Seetu and Garima and a kudos to their friendship! ^_^
Garima, we hope you have been drinking plenty of water in your cute bottle!

– Mamina

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Karkhana Reads

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Like the past weeks, this week too, Karkhanauts shared around some  interesting reads!


Here’s the fourth week of Karkhana Reads:

  • Rupesh stumbled upon this article from the BBC that explores the poetic side of  tyrants who wrote verses – seeking solace, intimacy, or glory.
  • Sakar shared this read on a Thomas Kuhn who wrote a book titled ” The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” that altered the way we look at the philosophy behind Science.
  • Sakar was intrigued by the trusses we have in the 3rd floor at our office space. He went home to research about them and shared this read with us.
  • I was scrolling through the Kathmandu Post when I read this article on educational leadership.
  • Errol Morris is dissatisfied with Thomas Kuhn. Sakar shared this article from Nautilus where the author tells about how Kuhn hit Morris with an ashtray.

We’ll find you next week!

—Mamina Shrestha

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Seetu Style

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Seetu takes us to a colorful world this week with her cute paintings- a blast from the past! Let’s go through what she has to share! 🙂


Looking back at my old sketches, I found some of my paintings.

Before beginning my career as a Designer, I used to make sketches. Making sketches of cartoon characters and painting them were my favourite hobbies to pass time.

There are different techniques of adding shades, but I never had proper training or class so I used to copy ideas from different photos and tried to match them! Top to bottom: Monkey D Luffy, Calvin and Hobbes and Ariel

Ariel painting is my recent work. Recently, I haven’t had enough time to paint as much now… I miss painting.


We’ll follow Seetu again next week!

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Karkhana Reads

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This past week, we had some amazing reads! Let’s see what was shared around this past week 🙂

  • Sabhyata found an article on how it’s never too late to be a reader again.

Reading is hard. Not the act, but the pursuit. There’s always something else to do—something easier, something bigger or louder, something that makes you feel better, something that makes you feel worse. But none of that changes the fact that we all want to be readers.

  • Sabhyata also found this read on FOMO (fear of missing out) in the internet age where the writer speaks of the anxieties introduced by online readers’ communities like Good Reads.
  • Amrit shared this book entitled Why Science Needs Art” that explores the relationship between Science and Art.
  • Sakar found this interesting read about the right to steal back the things that were stolen from you!

We’ll find you next week!

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Karkhana Corners

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  • Mamina Shrestha

It has been a little over a year since I first came in to Karkhana. I remember the feeling when I first got here like it was yesterday and let me tell you- I am not really that great with memories. “I generally don’t like people but I actually, really, really like all of you.” That was what I had shared on my first day here and it holds true even now.

Since that day till now, I have met a lot of people here. More than a handful of them have now moved on from here and there is still of list of people who will be transitioning out over the course of time. Maybe there were parts of me that were willing to accept this since the start. Because somewhere along the line, I was already falling for the values that this place holds, it’s walls, artifacts and corners. Thinking about this now, I was looking for a home in those corners since day one and I am not lying when I tell you Karkhana has become a family for me and has sheltered me like a home.

The first few weeks and months, I had found my corner in one of the edges of the hanging table. There were a lot of stories to be shared, things to learn about Karkhana, about our work, about our team, about the songs we liked and about our families. Clinging on to the sturdy ropes of the table, we had somehow grasped hold of one another- Shebu, Saroj Dai, Shweta Dijju and me. We had a lot to learn and we were ready for the unknown that lay ahead of us.

After our roles were set up and there were more meetings to attend than things to talk about, I went on to find my corner at the Content Generation room. I felt safer there, somehow. The unmistakable sound of Dipesh Dai tapping away on the track pad of his laptop, Amrit Dai’s concentration at work and love for chiya, Yogesh blaring acoustic, studio songs from his Chelsea stickered laptop, Prajjwal being Prajjwal and arguing with me for no real reason. Those were the things that felt like a routine to me in that room. Times have changed now but the left corner of that room is still my favorite.

On a few Sunday mornings, I found myself settling in the cushions at KIC. There were a lot of late evening song sessions with Surya. Rounds of KBC with Roshan Dai and Surya in one particular winter afternoon. I spent a lot of time in the balcony upstairs with Irina Dijju and Pragya- asking them this and that about business ideas and work.

There is also one Saturday afternoon that Saroj Dai, Shweta , Shebu, Pragya and I spent in the corners seat at Operations where we talked and giggled and played pranks. It was an afternoon of spontaneity, sprinkled with a dose of photo shoots.

Another corner at Karkhana is in Sakar Dai’s room where I had sat down for hours trying not to stutter while reading out long texts in Nepali. This is also where we held our Focus Group Discussions and I enjoyed being in every single one of them listening to the people talk about issues. I also witnessed the first ever Karkhana podcast from one of the corners here.

Sabhyata has shared a select few favorites from her playlist with me in the corner in the corridor upstairs. Thursday afternoons for Shastraartha (reading group discussions) is building a soft corner for itself in my heart. Sabhyata, thank you for being my mustard yellow sunshine.

The Mural Room provided me more space than corners, actually. Facilitating my first-ever BC class on Automaton for the students of Galaxy Public School, hosting Fukushima and her band, appreciating colleagues for their efforts, facilitating my first ever writing session with Yaman… Rounds of appreciation, sessions, farewell parties, Dashain party have left an echo of mixed emotions in this space. There has been so much that I have got to learn about things, people and even myself from this room.

With time passing by and our family growing and getting stronger everyday, I now have a bigger love and respect for Karkhana- a place that felt like home since day one and it’s people who have and will always feel like family for me- no matter how far we all wander.

And now as I write this from the corner space outside the Mural Room where I once had chiya and doughnut with Rupesh and Amrit in one of the cloudy, drizzly mornings like today, I fall a little more in love with Karkhana and it’s corners. 🙂

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Seetu Style!

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Week 3: SKETCHING TECHNIQUES

This past week, Seetu explored her sketching techniques with a colleague here at Karkhana: Sonam. Seetu sounds really happy to have had a chance to discover and learn new skills! Let’s find out more on this!


Karkhana is full of versatile people. It’s always fun to learn new techniques and ideas from them.  I was working on a project of sketching portraits and I have a very little knowledge about techniques of sketches. Sonam, one of my very talented co-worker, helped me understand the small techniques that make sketches look more realistic.

These photos above are the initial sketches that I made.

These are the sketches I worked on after Sonam taught me the techniques of sketching.

A very big thank-you to Sonam for his help! I will always be looking forward to learning more sketching techniques with them! 🙂

 

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