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.


Balk, David and Charles Corr. Adolescent Encounters With Death, Bereavement and Coping. New York: Springer Publishing, 2009.

This volume covers a range of topics from, primarily, the perspective of psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers.

Bonnano, George A. The Other Side of Sadness – What the New Science of Bereavement Tells Us About Life After Loss. New York: Basic Books, 2009.

Bonanno’s work refutes Kübler-Ross’ and Freud’s theories of grief, arguing that resilience is the most common and natural reaction to loss and trauma, and that grief and trauma therapies are overused and not necessarily helpful.

Christ, Grace Hyslop. Healing Children’s Grief – Surviving a Parent’s Death from Cancer. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Containing narratives, recommendations, and discussions of clinical cases, Christ’s work shows how children of different developmental levels – ages 3 to 17 – experience the loss of a parent.

Derrida, Jacques. The Work of Mourning, edited by Pascale-Anne Brault and Michael Naas. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2001.

A collection of letters of condolence, memorial essays, and eulogies, written by the philosopher after the death of each of fourteen of his friends - other French, cultural luminaries - this volume sheds light on Derrida’s views on ethics, “the gift of death,” memory, and time through the lens of grieving personal friendships.

Doka, Kenneth. Disenfranchised Grief: Recognizing Hidden Sorrow. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 1989.

A prolific writer on death and dying, Doka here elaborates on a term he coined, disenfranchised grief.

Freud, Sigmund. "Mourning and Melancholia." The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Vol. 14. London: The Hogarth Press, 1953, 237-258.

A basic psychoanalytical text that is frequently referenced as a starting point of grief studies pertaining to the individual.

Fulton, Robert Lester and Robert Bendiksen, eds. Death and Identity. Philadelphia: The Charles press, 1994.

This collection contains reprints and a few original articles on grief and mourning, mostly from a sociological perspective. Part 2 – Grief and the Process of Mourning have a chapter on the psychological impact on bereaved children (John Bowlby, “The Mourning of Children,” 110-135); an analysis of the distinction – and necessary reconciliation – between the psychological and personal experience of grief and the social experience of mourning that takes place within a certain socio-cultural context (John Stephenson, “Grief and Mourning,” 136-176); and an argument for the notion that the loss of a close partner is innate (Wolfgang Stroebe and Margaret S. Stroebe, “Is Grief Universal? Cultural Variations in the Emotional Reaction to Loss,” 177-209).

Gilbert, Sandra M. Death’s Door – Modern Dying and the Ways We Grieve. New York: W. W. Norton, 2006.

A critic, poet, and memoirist Sandra M. Gilbert explores our relationship to death though literature, history, poetry, and societal practices. The questions she attempts to address include: How has the notion of death and our experiences and expressions of grief changed in the last century? Did the traumas of Hiroshima and the Holocaust transform our thinking about mortality? More recently, did the catastrophe of 9/11 alter our modes of mourning? And are there at the same time aspects of grief that barely change from age to age? She examines both the changelessness of grief and the changing customs that mark contemporary mourning.

Gorer, Geoffrey. Death, Grief, and Mourning in Contemporary Britain. Garden City, New York: Doubleday-Anchor, 1967.

Goss, Robert E. and Dennis E. Klass. Dead But Not Lost, Grief Narratives in Religious Traditions. Walnut Creek, California: AltaMira Press, 2005.

Using mostly non-Western traditions of bonding practices between the dead and the living, the authors argue that contemporary therapists and counselors should also be mindful of the importance of the unsevered connections between the dead and the bereaved.

Kübler-Ross, Elisabeth. On Death and Dying. New York: Collier Books, 1969.

Considered the seminal work in the literature on death and dying in contemporary times, Kübler-Ross’s work postulates that dying and grieving people go through a series of consecutive stages —denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Her theory has since been refuted and refined but the book remains in the canon of thanatological books.

Lattanzi-Licht, Marcia and Kenneth J. Doka, eds. Living with Grief: Coping with Public Tragedy. New York: Brunner-Routledge, 2003.

This anthology brings together chapters illuminating specific aspects and perspectives of grief by a range of bereavement counselors and experts who have been involved in helping people during and after public tragedies.

Lifton, Robert Jay. The Broken Connection: On Death and the Continuity of Life. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1979.

Lifton’s primary research topics center on the the impact on all parties in war and conflict, including notable work on brainwashing and holocaust survivors. A post-Freudian psychiatrist, he expounds in The Broken on the human death awareness and its function in shaping the psyche. The writing reflects the period of publication before the end of the cold war.

Neimeyer, Robert A., Darcy L. Harris, Howard R. Winokuer, and Gordon F. Thornton, eds. Grief and Bereavement in Contemporary Society: Bridging Research and Practice. New York: Routledge, 2011.

This series features several books annually that are primarily geared to grief counselors – guiding them in the process of bridging recent research and practice. Some of these works are also useful for the non-practitioner who attempts to understand how the process of grieving in the context of professional therapy is understood by contemporary scholars and clinicians. For a listing of recent and forthcoming volumes, including a brief synopsis of each book, CLICK HERE