Tactile Perception and renewal of our burial-traditions by Lisa Merk

A new concept to our burial-traditions.

Lisa Merk: This concept is a suggestion to change our burial habits, specifically cremation, into a biodegradable system. I wanted to find a way to include mourning relatives actively into the funeral service.

The story goes like this: At the funeral ceremony there are mini-urns kept ready for every mourner. The urns are made out of different kinds of wood, polished softly so that they are pleasant to touch. Each mini-urn provides a symbolic part of the ashes. Providing everyone with a mini-urn allows each relative to say goodbye to a part of the deceased person, memories, and history during the whole ceremony. They get something they can hold on to during a sad service. Funerals are stressful – the mini-urns allow, through rubbing the soft and even wooden surface, to reduce the level of stress. Through the mini-urns, the grief of relatives occupies its rightful space. Relatives who want to take the mini-urns home could do so to keep a little memory they can always carry with them.

The peculiarity about the mini-urns is that they include the mourner into the ceremony and gives them something they can hold on to. Furthermore, they constitute an alternative to existing vessels to carry small parts of ashes home. I tried to bypass using the common look of funeral equipment.

Burial traditions vs. Zeitgeist.

Lisa Merk: Whether this project reflects current trends or simply corresponds to the Zeitgeist is hard to say. However, certain is, that the traditions and current circumstances in the burial sector are slowly loosened up and space is made for alternative proposals. We live in a time where there is a great need for renewal of our burial-traditions and religious values in terms of funerals. Re-thinking, adapting and making funerals healthier for the environment is a great challenge for every product designer.

Interview with Lisa Merk / Photography: Lisa Merk

Trends: Balanced Self.