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Architect Proposes Body Compost Center

Friday, March 13, 2015

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A Seattle-based architect has set out to give death a modern makeover.

Katrina Spade, founder of the Urban Death Project, wants to construct human composting centers, according to various news reports and the project website.

“I love the idea of growing a tree out of someone I love that I’ve lost,” Spade told KOMO News.com.

Redesigning Deathcare

The proposed three-story facilities would reimagine deathcare and connect humans with the cycles of nature, project details say.

urban death project
Photos: Urban Death Project

Architect Katrina Spade wants to create “a meaningful, equitable, and ecological alternative to existing options for the care and processing of the deceased” with the urban body composting center.

The centers would be places where city residents could bring deceased loved ones, clothed in biodegradable linen, to decompose into coarse soil.

The decomposition process would take about six weeks per human, Spade has said.

Ultimately, family and friends could return to the death bed to grow plants and trees out of their loved one’s compost.

Development and Funding

In 2014, Spade was awarded an $80,000 grant from Echoing Green, a New York-based environmentally conscious philanthropy, to further develop the concept.

urban death project

The architect is raising funds to design and test a prototype and conduct needs assessments in several U.S. cities.

The architect realizes that her project faces many legal and zoning obstacles but says new forms of burial should be explored, especially since many cemetaries are overcrowded and some cities have restricted the building of new ones, reports state.

A Kickstarter funding campaign for the project will go live March 30.

   

Tagged categories: Architecture; Design; Landscape architects

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (3/13/2015, 8:54 AM)

I wonder if they plan to remove hazardous materials (mercury fillings being the obvious one) and medical implants before composting.


Comment from Bob Johnson, (3/13/2015, 9:46 AM)

Soylent Green is people...


Comment from Chuck Pease, (3/13/2015, 12:39 PM)

Now that is some thinking out of the box."pun intended"


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