Oak, ash, birch, or other—what tree would you like to be buried beneath?
Imagine if, at the end of your life, you could choose between being reincarnated as either an oak, ash, birch, or a tree of importance to your life. With the Capsula Mundi project, designers Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel rethink the ways in which we bury and mourn our loved ones by proposing egg-shaped "seed" coffins made from 100% biodegradable starch plastic, in which the deceased can be tucked in a fetal position, then planted into the soil, with their tree of choice for the crown.
“To make a coffin nowadays you cut down an old tree, of valuable wood. A coffin has a short life spand [sic] and is a product of our society,” says the team on their site. “The growth of a tree needs from 10 to 40 years and a coffin is used for three days.” Like the planet provides for us during our lives, our deaths could be more meaningful by giving back in this small way, they explain.
A person would choose their Capsula Mundi while still alive, and after their death, relatives and friends could continue tending to their trees, transforming traditional cemeteries into sacred woodlands that literally keep memories alive after death. "By planting different kinds of trees next to each other it creates a forest,” they add. “A place where children will be able to learn all about trees. It’s also a place for a beautiful walk and a reminder of our loved ones.”
Click here to learn more about Capsula Mundi.