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Rethinking Ritual: A Sustainable Approach to Death

Part 1 Project 2021
Nanchalee Waite
Ravensbourne University London | UK
We are currently facing a global cemetery crisis, there simply is not enough space in many cities to continue the tradition of underground burial rituals. As a result many countries have created above ground, often, multi-storey memorial spaces but is this a viable long-term solution?

London is one of those cities facing a burial crisis, 8 inner boroughs in London contain no significant burial space. The decision to develop land for new burial spaces has met resistance from local residents, who do not want to lose woodlands to new graves; a dilemma that councils must face when creating burial spaces in urban areas.

The scheme presents a model for a more empathetic engagement with the death of family and community members. An engagement that provides positive benefits through the creation of burial spaces whilst regreening city spaces, a sustainable alternative to energy-intensive and polluting cremation practices through the use of mycelium; and provides a place where the ritual surrounding death can be reinvented and a link retained between families and the community with the people that have come before…

Nanchalee Waite


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