Designed to Die

Design of an Urn in a Changing Funeral Culture

Janek Beau

März / March - 2023

Folkwang Universität der Künste Essen

Bachelor of Arts


More and more people in our society are choosing cremation, which means that urns occupy an increasingly significant place in our funeral culture. However, the design potential of an urn has not yet been fully exploited, and they often seem incidental at a funeral. The urns resulting from the work "Designed to Die" address the importance of an urn burial for relatives as well as for the deceased person. The urn is made of pure, degradable soy wax and is divided into two parts. The inner part holds the ashes and is placed in the centre of the outer part, which is decorated with flowers and placed on a ring over the urn grave. The candles placed on the outside are lit over the grave and burn down within 45 minutes during the funeral service to the point where the urn loses its hold on the ring and falls into the grave. In this way, the ritual of the funeral service is significantly restructured and shaped.