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.


via @NYTimes „IDEAS xLab… (Un)Known Project… is both a remembrance and a provocation — a memorial to those whose stories will never be uncovered, as well as a challenge to the public to unearth narratives that may exist“ ⁦@maggiepjones⁩

One year ago today, 24 May 2020 -- front page of the New York Times.

May 24, 2021 -- 590,000+ US COVID deaths later......

Thank you @NYCMayor for budgeting $50 million to remove buildings and make Hart Island safe for visitors.

The covid-19 pandemic can help us moving from denying death to finding new, more open and more public ways to deal with the end of life, writes @gsappDeathLAB
In @ArchReview

‘Communities seek compatible ways to integrate this enigmatic event, death, into the fabric of life’ Karla Rothstein and Christina Staudt on care at the end of life and after death @gsappDeathLAB

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