RVi is excited to congratulate our own Nhasala Manandhar on receiving her permanent residence in the United States. Celebrating over a slice of All-American apple pie, we sat down with her to talk about her journey, career, and passion for design.

Where did you grow up?
I was born and was brought up in Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal.

What’s an interesting fact about your hometown?
My hometown, Kathmandu city, was once a country 250 years ago and has a history of at least 2,000 years. Currently, 1.3 million people live within an area of 19.5 sq. miles in Kathmandu city. It is Located at elevation of 4,600 ft and is still a part of a valley. Even at this elevation it rarely snows.

What did you want to be when you grew up when you were in elementary school?
A doctor, however, I quickly came to realize that I was not ready for the dedicated lifestyle and the number of years you must rigorously study before your life begins. After this realization, I decided that I wanted to be an artist, maybe a designer, and ultimately decided to become a Landscape Architect.

What led you to this career?
The ability to be outside, to design things that will ultimately be built and enjoyed by others.

What’s the most interesting thing you’re working on right now?
Most recently, I worked with Peter on a park for Rancho Sienna, which just went out for bid. I think this is one of the more interesting projects that I have worked on because of the grading challenges. We used a mix of local elements with a few manufactured elements to solve this issue.

I also had a chance to work on Philomena Park at Mueller with Chris. Together, we designed a giant octopus in an area soon to be filled with young families, that I think will steal the show.

How do you describe what you do for a living to family and friends?
I am not a landscaper; I know plants, but I am not a botanist. I design, but my designing skills are not limited to planting – it’s more diverse. Yes, I can do planning and urban design. My skills do circulate around planting, but I do a lot of outdoor design work with various professions, namely civil engineers, structural engineers, architects, developers, and artists. I am not an engineer, but I work with many engineers.

What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve ever received?
Know when to stop. The importance of the moment.

What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not working?
Go sketch, paint outside, go on an adventure to a new location or hang out in a place I love…the list just goes on. It’s all about being outside. Venture out to eat new food. Try to recreate the food I had in restaurants in my own kitchen.

What do you enjoy about RVi?
The people, the work environment, and the projects that I get to work on. I love that there is room for me to grow. One of my favorite things is our lunch time sketch group which has really helped me as a designer and explain my ideas better.