Our mission is to transform spaces of remembrance, seamlessly incorporating them into civic infrastructure in respectful, sustainable, and innovative ways. DeathLAB establishes scientific, socio-cultural, academic, and municipal partnerships, engaging design to unite diverse constituents and reshape how cities accommodate their dead. We will augment current practices and desegregate the landscapes of conventional burial and cremation from active, public terrains. The Lab’s proposals include sponsored investigations, projects produced in Karla Rothstein’s design studios at Columbia University GSAPP, and theoretical work of LATENT Productions.



Through our design work we are provoking and unpacking diverse perspectives on the urban and social significance of death-related spatial practices and their intersections with civic life and environment. Our projects harness science and spirituality, resulting in a system that transforms our biomass into an enduring collective urban memorial for intimate individual memories.


At Arnos Vale Cemetery, we propose an ecologically beneficial infrastructure for human disposition that enhances public space while re-shaping societal understandings of our body’s connection to the earth and culture’s relationship to death...

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Constellation Park is a suspended public memorial, invoking science while respecting spirituality. The system transforms our biomass into an elegant constellation of light, illuminating new civic space amidst underutilized existing urban infrastructures...

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WPA 2.0

A resilient infrastructure of short-term shrines dedicated to remembrance, remediation, and energy conversion rises above the city offering loved ones a contemplative stroll, while the deceased are transformed into a new form of vibrant energy...

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Over the past eighteen years, a series of Rothstein’s design studios at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation have engaged the urban, social, and cultural questions engaged by DeathLAB’s research. Students have focused on urban sites throughout New York City, with architectural proposals that address the contemporary shortcomings of current funerary processes. An important part of design thinking is to instigate critical conversation about future possibilities.