Design, reinforced by research, reveals an urgent call to liberate city life from the burden of outmoded practices. A community’s need for sanitary and sensible disposal of corpses is intertwined with the need of survivors to organize suitable rituals and memorialize the deceased.

DeathLab’s body of research includes critical theoretical spatial propositions, data projections, scientific inquiry, and aims to develop ways to reduce the adverse impacts of our living years on the environment.

GSAPP Fall 2011: Death. Honor. Urbanity

The living body has long been the site of cultural, political, and principled debate. The dead body amplifies these and other contested positions related to identity, strategic re-use, and commemoration.

Projects engaged urban and intimate scales simultaneously. Strategies interfaced with existing urban infrastructures, explored where and for how long a life is remembered, and re-qualified how society processes both the physical and emotional aspects of death. New sequences between civic and intimate territory infused the city while also providing an envelope for the delicacy of human grief.

Experimentation is essential to challenge certainty. Students were encouraged to push any inquiry to failure. Concepts rendered into new matrices, de-familiarizing expectations and opening new possibility.

Befitting the substantial scale and pragmatics of the urban death industry, projects were explored as infrastructures, strategically opportunistic in their catalyzing impact on both current culture and existing metropolitan systems. Sometimes change must be radical.

[ studio collection ]