Remember NAU's "Immersive Cocoon"? Conceptual artist and designer Diddo has extended—or inverted, perhaps—that concept for posterity's sake with "Project Womb," an inquiry into the "Aesthetics of the After Life." It's essentially an Information Age overhaul of the casket, a sort of Sarcophagus 2.0 (tomb-point-oh, perhaps), bringing the symbolism of the womb to bear on the ultimate unknown by recasting fetal position as a fatal position.
After birth, the second biggest event in life is death. And, yet, across cultures, our relationship with it seems based on avoidance and denial. We asked ourselves, why isn't death treated as naturally and gracefully as birth? Why can't we perceive it in a more positive way? And redesign its rituals to reveal, rather than conceal, who we really are? That's how Project Womb was born.
We believe the only true legacy anybody leaves behind is the story of his or her life. Usually, the telling of this story is left to friends and family. The more celebrated ones amongst us are at the mercy of media. That's a lot of different versions of our life story. And we don't have a say in any one of them.
Project Womb provides the comfort of knowing that your story is told in your own words, pictures and videos. And shared with the world. It's a container for impressions and memories you can record and update over your lifetime. A collection of personal insights and experiences that can inspire future generations for many years to come.
We want to change how the story is told. And how it's presented. We find rectangular caskets unnatural and unfriendly. To us, the womb offers a design that's in harmony with life and nature.
And yes, there's an app for it...
So in terms of what it actually does: "In essence, Project Womb is a media-driven time capsule that makes sure your life story lives on." In other words, it's the physical residue of the notion of a digital afterlife, which Rob Walker explored at length in the New York Times Magazine earlier this year.
Diddo, for his part, intends for "Project Womb" is more than just an "intriguing 'product'," since "our lives send out ripples of influence as a stone in a pond, [and] the womb project visualizes these."
While Diddo's decision to render "Project Womb" in white as opposed to black is at least as significant as the egg-like ellipsoid form itself, but the veneer versions are a bit much IMHO... as are the vaguely post-apocalyptic photo-renderings.
I'm not sure whether it's more or less poetic than the last concept coffin we've seen, though it's surely a far more optimistic comment on contemporary society...