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Document Type

Open Access

Degree Program

Architecture

Degree Type

Master of Architecture (M.Arch.)

Year Degree Awarded

2013

Month Degree Awarded

May

Keywords

death, disposal, sustainable, compost, soil, urban

Abstract

The intent of this thesis is to challenge our society’s existing options for the care and processing of the deceased, and to design a space and a ritual which are both deeply meaningful and ecologically beneficial. The community for whom this architecture is designed currently lacks the religious or cultural rituals which would otherwise guide them through the process of laying of their loved ones to rest. For this community, both traditional burial and cremation are devoid of meaning and culturally irrelevant ways of dealing with the deceased, in addition to being unnecessarily wasteful processes. Likewise, the community for which I am designing is decidedly urban, and made up of people for whom the city is the chosen site for living. This city dweller loves the bustling, complicated, concrete and steel metropolis reality. I posit they would find a deep comfort in becoming part of the city after dying. However, it is my position that a deep connection to the cycles of nature is critical in order for the dead to rest peacefully, and for the living to properly grieve. Therefore, I propose that the space I am designing – and its processes within - will be deeply rooted in the cycles of nature, for it is only by truly comprehending our part in these cycles that we can grieve and heal.

First Advisor

Kathleen R. Lugosch

Second Advisor

Max Page

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