The world’s first competition to re-imagine deathcare, Design for Death, drew 1,300 entries from 96 countries in three categories: Eco/Green Deathcare, Wrappings of Mortality and Architecture. The design competition was sponsored by two Singapore-based organizations, the Lien Foundation and the ACM Foundation, and the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA).
An international panel of judges selected the winners and winning entries in the Design for Death competition. The winners were introduced at the opening of NFDA’s 2013 convention in Austin, Texas and their concepts were on display in the Expo hall.
Here is a brief outline of the competition winners, with thanks to Ed Defort, editor of the Memorial Business Journal.
Wrappings of Mortality Category
Asta Sadauskaite and Loucas Papantioniou from Lithuania and Greece: first prize for “Family Tree,” which is a cluster of honeycomb-shaped urn vaults with organic light-emitting diode covers that serve as a final resting place for families.
Agnes Hegedus from Hungary: second prize for the “Urn for Water Memorial Ceremony.” Sinking the urn into its final resting place could be an aspect used as part of the ceremony.
Chen Jiashan, a Taiwanese in France: third prize for “Souvenair,” a vessel for cremated remains that can be hung at home or in a public place. A wind chime recalls the presence of a loved one whenever the wind blows. (see video below)
Rangel Karaivanov and Marta Pieseczynsk, both of Austria: first prize for “Post Community” Series, Marseille, Los Angeles, and Paris. (see video above) The Karaivanov and Pieseczynsk team also took second prize for “My Favorite Place.”
Juan Isaza de Larranaga from Columbia: third prize for “Sky Light.” (see video below)
Pierre Riviere and Enzo Pascual from France: first place for “Emergence,” in which a cemetery is envisaged to be a reservoir of life – made of biological concrete to absorb carbon dioxide and give electricity – and where the departed rest in highly biodegradable urns or coffins that can eventually revitalize the earth through their remains.
Ancunel Steyn of South Africa: second prize for “Design for Death (& Living),” in which the dead are memorialized and their remains stored in a variety of ways and in pleasing settings.
Harry Trimble and Patrick Stevenson-Keating from the United Kingdom: third prize for “I Wish to be Rain.” Following a funeral and cremation of the body, the family will be given an aluminum vessel that contains the cremated remains. The vessel is floated by a weather balloon and when it reaches the proper altitude, it bursts and disperses the cremated remains into the clouds below.
Jae Rhim Lee received a special jury prize for her “Mushroom Death Suit, a green couture for the body that facilitates the decomposition and partial toxin cleaning of bodies using a collection of fungi, which goes hand in hand with the return of the body to the earth.
The Lien Foundation is noted for its model of radical philanthropy. The Foundation seeks to foster exemplary childhood education, excellence in eldercare and effective environmental sustainability in water and sanitation.
The ACM Foundation aims to enhance the perception of death and bereavement among the public, uplift the deathcare profession with professional training and education, and advance philanthropy in this area.
For more information about the competition, visit the Design for Death website.