The world is running out of room to bury its dead—so much so that some towns have passed legislation banning dying within city limits. To solve the problem, some architects want to create burial skyscrapers, but designers from Columbia University’s DeathLab have a different idea. They propose turning decomposing bodies into lamps.
According to PSFK, the design, called Sylvan Constellation, won a recent competition from the University of Bath’s Centre for Death and Society that challenged architects to imagine the future of memorials. The team will spend a month-long residency at the University of Bath to work on a prototype this summer.
Image Credit: DeathLab at Columbia University via Facebook
The design involves converting the energy harvested from the body’s decomposition into electricity that would light the cemetery’s footpaths. These “memorial vessels,” both on the ground and elevated on steel poles, are filled with both human remains and microbes that speed up the decomposition process. The vessels glow like lamps as the body breaks down.
This way, you can feel like some part of your loved ones lives on, lighting your way through the cemetery.