At the core of DeathLab is a team of leading researchers, scholars, experts, and designers from fields that enable us to engage with both intimate and infrastructural urban concerns.

Our ambition is to develop design strategies that can be prototyped, built, and experienced by the public. We are dedicated to securing public space for the future city.






Director, Columbia University GSAPP DeathLAB
Associate Professor of Architecture, CU GSAPP
Design Director, LATENT Productions
MacDowell Fellow '18

Karla Maria Rothstein is an architect, professor, and creative thinker living, practicing, and teaching in New York City. Her areas of research span intimate spaces of metropolitan domestic life and infrastructures of death and memory. Her interest focuses on the intersections of social justice and the built environment. In both her professional work as design director at LATENT Productions and through over a decade of studios taught at the Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation at Columbia University, Karla engages with alternative and emerging methods of corpse disposal in progressive proposals of civic sanctuary and temporal urban remembrance. As a member of the Columbia University Seminar on Death since 2011, she is committed to the radical reshaping of urban public spaces, which enable us to better honor our dead. In Karla's words, “the rituals surrounding human death and the subsequent disposition of the corpse reflect the social character of the living.”




Associate, Columbia University GSAPP DeathLAB
Professor of Earth and Environmental Engineering, CU 
MacArthur Foundation Grant Recipient '15 
WEF Award Recipient '16

Kartik Chandran is an environmental engineer and professor, studying microbial communities in natural and engineered systems. Currently running a lab-scale fermentation process on the Columbia University campus, Kartik's practical knowledge related to biological fermentation, decomposition, water cycles, and conversion of waste to energy facilitates environmental aspirations of our lab. Kartik will be working with DeathLAB to explore the strategic application of microbial communities to accelerate biotransformation, particularly related to the disposition of human remains and the future of urban ecology.




Associate, Columbia University GSAPP DeathLAB
President, Westchester End-of-Life Coalition
Chair, Columbia University Seminar on Death

Chair of the Columbia University Seminar on Death, Christina is co-founder of the Westchester End of Life Coalition and a hospice volunteer working with patients in their last days of life and their families. Her research and scholarly interests center on the interplay of death and community. Christina's practical experience with the grieving process and the dying is an invaluable contribution to DeathLab’s endeavor to provide innovative, respectful and sensitive propositions. At DeathLab Christina evokes and advises on the experience and perception of the individual. She is instrumental in our public relations and global outreach.




Associate, Columbia University GSAPP DeathLAB
Professor, Department of Religion, Columbia University
Cultural Critic
Philosopher of Religion

Mark Taylor is a philosopher of religion, cultural critic, and author on subjects ranging from visual arts to nanotechnology. After graduating from Wesleyan University in 1968, he received his doctorate in the study of religion from Harvard University and began teaching at Williams College in 1973. In 2007, Taylor moved from Williams College to Columbia University, where he currently chairs the Department of Religion. At DeathLAB, Mark facilitates dialogue, mentors, and contributes to academic research. His lucid analysis and cultural critique instigate discourse and design invention to engage philosophical contention and theology.



Our research associates are comprised of of architecture and engineering students, who bring an incredible range of experience and energy to the undertakings of the lab.