Image: KIOKU Keizo

21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa


Photo by KIOKU Keizo

Photo by KIOKU Keizo

Photo by KIOKU Keizo

Constellation Park is a public memorial, embedded within the urban life of the metropolis.


A resilient infrastructure of short-term shrines dedicated to the production of energy.

WPA 2.0

A truly perpetual future for Arnos Vale Cemetery


A series of studios at Columbia GSAPP have engaged the urban, social, and cultural questions raised by DeathLAB’s research.

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What we do with the remains of our dead reflects the character of the living—affecting both the environment and experience of the metropolis. At DeathLAB we design new models of mortuary infrastructure which embrace biologically sensible alternatives; we support innovative civic spatial constructions that are ecologically progressive; and we expand forms of intimate and social remembrance.

DeathLAB reimagines how we handle death, and, in turn, how we live.

As cities like New York continue to grow, the need for environmentally friendly funerary processes increases. DeathLAB is working on an alternative to cremation and earthen burial, and designing new public spaces of remembrance intertwined with everyday life.



The growing population continues to stress the natural environment. Overcrowded cities are running out of limited cemetery space. Cremation releases harmful toxins into already polluted air. DeathLAB takes an trans-disciplinary approach to understand legal and policy implications, investigate lived urban realities, and assess viable environmentally- and socially-conscious alternatives to traditional mortuary solutions.

DeathLAB’s body of research includes speculative spatial propositions, data projections, scientific inquiry, and sustainability studies.

In order to broaden DeathLAB’s perspective and reach, we participate in events, exhibitions, and research around the world. This work exposes us to new situations and connects us to people interested in developing ecological approaches to living with death in the city.

See excerpts from our exhibition, DeathLAB: Democratizing Death, at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa below.

Based at Columbia University GSAPP, DeathLAB is a trans-disciplinary research and design initiative focused on reconceiving how we live with death in the city. DeathLAB brings dynamic minds together to engage with the complex challenges of our individual and collective mortality.

As the issues of diminishing available burial space, increasing pollution, and shifting cultural views become more apparent, DeathLAB's work is attracting attention from publications around the globe.


@DeathRef #YearInReview Day 2: Mar 2020 @Guardian @gdnlongread excerpted 'Technologies of the Human Corpse'. #COVID19 put death in the headlines. My dead sister would want this piece to help others prepare for loved ones to die. @mitpress @HappyFlaneur

two in one weekend. thanks @nytimes

Affirming life at death. beautifully conveyed by ⁦@maggiepjones⁩ ⁦@nytimes⁩ Do listen, with open hearts.

thanks @WSJ and @AllisonCMeier for sharing. approx. 650 bodies remain in an emergency morgue in Brooklyn - since the Spring surge. Please let this holiday be about gratitude for life and those on the frontlines; and stay home if you are able.

Los cementerios son parte funcional de la ciudad, dotaciones, pero también son lugares con carga simbólica y cultural. La aceptación de la muerte, el urbanismo organiza, la arquitectura dignifica para proyectar con #sostenibilidad. ⁦@gsappDeathLAB⁩

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20 Renwick Street, New York, NY 10013

P: 646.336.6950