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Would You Like to Be Buried as an Egg?

ARTIFACT: The egg then sprouts a tree. On display at ‘Designing Death.’

David Beers 19 Feb

David Beers is contributing editor of The Tyee.

Earth to earth, dust to dust, ashes to ashes… or maybe you’d rather go with mulch to mulch. Whether you are a radical ecologist or just an avid gardener, your last purposeful act on the planet could be personally fertilizing the tree of your choice.

Consider “the Capsula Mundi, from the Italian design team Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel. An alternative to the traditional casket, the Capsula Mundi is a bio-degradable burial pod out of which grows a tree that is nourished by the body interred within. The Capsula Mundi, and other green burial projects, have the potential to redefine the cemetery from a space of rigidly conforming rows of stone with concrete tombs above ground and toxic chemicals below, to a naturalized parkland that contributes to the environment through natural growth.”

This invitation to think outside the box is to be found on the website for the exhibit, Designing Death: An Exhibition of Contemporary Funerary Architecture and Objects, now showing at the Libby Leshgold Gallery in Vancouver until April 21, with a related symposium and reception slated for March 29 to 30 at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. The show features works by teams from Finland, India, Italy, Poland, the U.S., the Netherlands, the U.K. and Canada.

851px version of Capsula-Mundi.jpg
Capsula Mundi, a new eco-twist on the casket, part of the Designing Death exhibit running in Vancouver until April 21.

A Canadian contribution is by Vancouver-based Pechet Studios, which designed the Little Spirits Garden in Saanich, B.C. A first in North America, according the website for Designing Death, it is “a dedicated space for the memorialization of infants.”

“Ritual and memorialization are immensely important to the grieving process. Until recently, there was little acknowledgement or accommodation made for grieving parents who have lost pre- and post-term babies,” explain the exhibit’s curators. “The garden includes small houses that families can decorate and motifs based on the womb and heart. It is a place where families can come together to help each other through the mourning process.”

Find out more about Designing Death here.  [Tyee]

Read more: Environment

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