With the growing interest in green burial in the U.S., an Italian company has designed biodegradable egg-shaped burial containers for cremated remains and full bodies in a fetal position. The Capsula Mundi burial pods are meant for pairing with a live tree in a natural burial ground.
Capsula Mundi’s founders, Italian designers Raoul Bretzel and Anna Citelli, see death as not the end, but the beginning of a way back to nature. They have redesigned the coffin, using secular and universal symbols of life: the egg, the tree and the fetal position.
The pod is buried as a seed in the earth, planted beneath a tree chosen in life by the deceased. The tree serves as a memorial for the departed and as a legacy for posterity and the future of our planet.
The idea is that family and friends will continue to care for the tree as it grows. Cemeteries will grow into vibrant woodlands, havens for wildlife and a reminder of the cycle of life and death.
The project sought funding through a Kickstarter campaign, but it did not reach the fundraising goal of 60,000 Euros set for July, 2016. Nonetheless, the founders are still enthusiastic about the interest in their idea.
“Death is when we stop consuming and producing and this is one of the reasons why it’s a taboo topic often overlooked by designers,” said Anna Citelli. “We want to plant trees instead of cutting them down!”
To make a wooden coffin, a timber tree must be cut down for lumber. The coffin has a short life cycle and a strong environmental impact: a tree takes between 10 and 40 years to reach maturity and the coffin is usable for only a few days before its burial with the body.
“The Capsula Mundi project is designed to spur a reflection on how our society deals with this important moment of life,” explained Raoul Bretzel. “There is no gloominess, no deprivation, no decay looking at death as a biological phenomenon: our body keeps on producing elements through natural transformations, feeding another life.”
Capsula Mundi was exhibited for the first time in 2003 at the “Salone del Mobile,” an important furniture exhibition in Milan. Since then, it has garnered much interest from all over the world, with articles and interviews with the worldwide media, exhibitions and more than 35,000 likes on Facebook.
The full body burial pod is still under development. The cremated remains pods will become available soon for use in green burial grounds in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and other countries.
Learn more at www.CapsulaMundi.it.