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A Funerary Paradigm

Part 2 Project 2013
Benjamin Juckes
University of Western Australia Nedlands Australia
A cemetery contains within its boundary an historical model of our society, reflecting each era, its culture, achievements and understandings.

The current typology of the cemetery is rapidly becoming inefficient and unable to keep up with the urbanisation and densification of cities. Perth is proving no exception; its current cemeteries are limited by their surroundings unable to expand. The city must now plan its future cemeteries with the opportunity to rethink its funerary paradigm.

This new paradigm will describe future possibilities for repose and remembrance by reflecting on and addressing societal, cultural and ecological trends and issues.

The paradigm will be developed over two stages

Stage one: the ‘Future – Present’
Responds to the deep cultural and spiritual need for remembrance, maintaining the ritualistic and processional values of the ceremonies associated with death, whilst also considering the current urban, ecological and cultural issues of burial space shortages and water shortages. A new concept of information preservation is introduced. Societal shifts towards increased digitalization allows for the reconstruction of our ‘digital lives’ to shape the way we are remembered after death.

Stage two: the ‘Future – Future’,
Ensuring the cemetery continues as a location for remembrance once it has reached full capacity circa 2050, at a point in time where the difference between the real and the digital is diminishing. It employs design speculation as a critical tool to explore the potential ways in which the cemetery is shaped by our ever-evolving city, social values and digitisation.

The outcomes maintain the ceremonies and rituals society requires to honour the dead, enhance remembrance; and create a symbolic and practical unification with ecological needs – finally the cemetery comes to reflect the cycles of change, adaption and understanding that shape society.

Benjamin Juckes


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