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 meaningful rituals and to lastingly memorialize the deceased.

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



  • Disposition occurs within discrete Anaerobic Bioconversion Vessels — utilizing microbial methanogenesis to break down organic matter — distilling the corpse to its basic chemical and biological components. Energy, in the form of light, will be produced through the generation of methane via anaerobic carbon cycling. Small amounts of remaining organic compounds provide nutrients for plant growth, while inert inorganic content will be suitable as a memento, equivalent to memorial cremains.
  • Duration is temporal, yet the aggregate memorial network serially accepts and honors individual loss, creating enduring and compelling collective places of memory.


Ongoing research is underway with Columbia's Kartik Chandran Laboratory. We thank the Earth Institute for their funding via a Cross-Cutting Initiative grant and organizational support for a public stakeholder colloquium held in 2016.


At DeathLAB we are employing innovative design and biotechnology as agents to reimagine the urban funerary industry,
connecting disposition and memorialization with our collective responsibility to the planet.