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WPA 2.0

Re-conceiving Death

Contrary to the common understanding of death as the cessation of all biological activity, here death is understood as one part of a larger, ongoing, biological process, and a vital part of municipal and social infrastructure. Temporal memorial chambers process organic remains to catalyze the revitalization of contaminated water and soil -- restoring nature and amplifying access to urban open space. A resilient infrastructure of short-term shrines dedicated to the conversion of energy, remembrance and remediation and energy conversion rise above the city offering loved ones a contemplative stroll, while the deceased are transformed into a new form of vibrant energy.

Challenging the American tendency to socially and spatially isolate death and cemeteries we see a productive place for death in contemporary urban life -- public spaces imprinted with intimate traces of remembrance, and examined through the lenses of cultural, environmental, and archival dispositions toward the coexistence of death and civic space. Sites are symbiotically located on urban brownfields contaminated by oil, sewage, and other industrial toxins which are responsive to working wetlands and bio-remediation. 

Serene and contemplative, while vital and productive, these memorial parks are healing for both the bereaved and the city. These quiet, public sanctuaries celebrate the fragility and poetry of life through the productive metamorphosis of the body after death.