After her mother passed away, Icelandic industrial designer Dögg Guðmundsdóttir "bought a well designed coffin for [her], that was soon after burned away" in the cremation ceremony. A few months later, Guðmundsdóttir purchased a new bed for her father. Experiencing these two things so close together reminded her of a crazy idea she had after a trip to Ghana.
While visiting Ghana, where both beds and elaborate coffins form a robust craft industry, Guðmundsdóttir wondered if the two products could be combined. Now she revisited the concept. "We could have saved both time, material and money if my parents each had one bed that could transform into a coffin," she concluded.
She then designed the following furniture piece, somewhat awkwardly named A Lifetime. The two halves can be slid together to assume its final form, as it were:
Here's how it transforms, as demonstrated by the fabricator hired, Anton Balle.
If it seems a bit grim, Guðmundsdóttir points out the sustainability benefits:
"We overconsume materials and cut down trees like never before. Thus, it makes sense to use the material from our bed for the coffin that we-will eventually be [cremated] in. This lets us reduce the consumption of materials, reduce manufacturing, cut costs and, not least, save time for those who are left behind, since the coffin is already there, ready for use."
However, Guðmundsdóttir also writes the following:
"After developing the idea for the last months and seeing the resultant beautiful woodwork, I even think this coffin should not get burned after the funeral, but borrowed over time and years for coming family funerals in the future, with the body cremated in a recycled paper box. Thereby saving the material for an even longer time."
Doesn't that defeat the purpose? I'd say stick to your guns!
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