August 15 2015 / 865 Saint Marks Ave

A HISTORY OF CEMETERIES AND PARKS / ARIC GRAUKE​

BURIAL SITES, ARCHEOLOGY AND HOLINESS / MAYA PORATH

CEMETERY TALK

FUTURE DISPOSITION METHODS / MICAH STROUP​

As cities continue to grow and space becomes increasingly limited, a decision must be made about the future of our cemeteries. If, as in the past, proximity to a specific space and to loved ones is paramount, then perpetual earthen burial will soon be unrealistic in every major city.. While cremation is more spatially efficient, it, like earthen burial, is extremely energy intensive. Near future disposition processes are proving to be very efficient and even generative, but will undoubtedly alter the fabric of our cemeteries and the ways that we interact with our departed. As urbanization moves rapidly forward globally, it is imperative to understand the many benefits of traditional cemeteries and to enmesh their strengths with new rituals developed around contemporary disposition methods. Promession, microbial methanogenesis, static pile composting and Resomation are the most forward facing disposition methods at the cusp of widespread use. Each process approaches its goal differently, but share a common goal of breaking lifeless tissue down into valuable organic material. This nutrient rich outcome can be used to encourage life among vegetation after we have reached the end of our lives. Although it will take time for cultural norms to shift, imparting value on the world as one departs should be reason enough to instigate a positive change in our funerary practices.

Material Consequences of Traditional & Contemporary Burial Processes / M. Stroup & R. Abdul-Jabbar