Three Ordinary Funerals

T Recycling Igor And Miles

Decades of technological progress have distanced the material business of death from everyday life. Sanitized and disease-controlled, the funeral industry has kept it neat, tidy, and out of sight. The contemporary city has modified and restricted many of the urban typologies that once played host to the social activities surrounding death. Death is visible in home decor, in fitness programs, and in virtual space, yet architecture today has failed to acknowledge the potential posed by the accidental social situations and infrastructural networks built around death. Architecture has failed to recognize these entities as a site for action. Further, cities can no longer afford to keep the material business of death at arm's length. New technologies present unique opportunities for the production of value—material, ceremonial, virtual, and ecological—that cannot be ignored, while the traditional means of human disposition are threatened by diminishing land availability, environmental concerns, and the prospect of a digital afterlife. Three Ordinary Funerals proposes a prototypical new space for death in the city. Inhabiting an urban hanok, this project hosts an amalgam of the sites for ceremony and remains transmutation, adopting new technologies, e.g., alkaline hydrolysis, that do away with the demands on area once required by the cemetery. The project seeks to open up the channels between the virtual and the non-virtual, allowing remembrance of the deceased to travel fluidly between domains.