The Architect Who Wants to Redesign Being Dead

What if We Composted Our Bodies Instead of Burying or Cremating Them? The Revolutionary Idea Behind the Urban Death Project

The three-story structure for composting humans could have a circular ramp to the top, for processionals and other funeral rites. JEREMY SORESE

The three-story structure for composting humans could have a circular ramp to the top, for processionals and other funeral rites. JEREMY SORESE

By Brendan Kiley

The Stranger—March 3, 2015

“We can’t heal our relationship with the world until we heal our relationship with death. And Katrina’s project, done well, could help with that.”

If you happen to die in North America, this is probably what will happen next: Someone will pause for a moment in front of your corpse and then make a phone call. They’ll call either a funeral home or a local government agency, depending on how much money you have. Some minutes later—I’ve never timed the interval, but in my experience it’s always at the crossroads of too soon and eternity—two people will show up in suits to take your body away. They will briskly shake hands with the living and say, “I’m sorry for your loss,” in a tone that indicates they’d like to be sorry for your loss, but this is what they do for work. To preserve a semblance of dignity, they might invite the living to step out of the room while they begin the awkward business of wrangling your body onto a board, strapping it down, and getting you out of there as quickly as possible.

After that, unless you’ve planned ahead for something exotic—donating your body to a university, burial at sea—you’re headed in one of two directions: a casket or a furnace.

Read the full article in The Stranger here.

PNA Swoosh

 

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