Redesigning death practices to create a positive relationship with death and the new life our dead bodies can become.
Why design death?
When I was diagnosed with, Lyme Disease, I was so sick that at one point I believed I was facing death. Looking back, I realized how those moments changed me profoundly. Through my healing process, I became so connected to Nature and humbled by the Earth’s power to heal. I wanted to recreate this beautiful relationship with the earth for other people.
understanding the complexities of death
can help us embrace our lives
Human exceptionalism is the belief that humans are the most important entity on Earth. This belief has led to our separation from Nature, when in fact we are Nature and identifying as such could fix many of our modern, societal problems.
Cultural of death research
In the United States, death is perceived as a taboo, and therefore mourners have limited participation in the funeral process. In many cultures around the world, family and friends are extremely involved in the funeral allowing for more healing and acceptance.
In the United States, our deaths come at a price to the Earth and all that inhabit it. Funerals are extremely unsustainable through depleting renewable and non-renewable resources, polluting the air during cremation, and contaminating water during embalming.
Leaves allows us to acknowledge the transformation from death into new life. Made with biodegradable materials, this coffin’s rope has a dye embedded with spores. Once the body is buried, fungus grows to speed up the decomposition. Most importantly, the fungus eats the plethora of toxins in our bodies so only nutrients go into the soil. A tree is then planted above the burial site becoming a beacon of new life.
the rituals of leaves
leaves around the world
Leaves has been presented and exhibited at Dutch Design Week, Dubai Design Week, and South Africa’s Design Indaba