2017 / Sustainable Living/environmental Preservation / Urban Sustainable Design / Student

Designed for Hong Kong

  • Prizes
    Gold in Sustainable Living/Environmental Preservation/Urban Sustainable Design
  • Company
    Savannah College Of Art And Design, United States
  • Lead Designer
    Crawford George, Alexandria Jones, Andre Farstad, Jesme Mingjia Zhang, Yuri Maharaj
  • Design Team
    Crawford George Alexandria Jones Andre Farstad Jesme Mingjia Zhang Yuri Maharaj
  • Project Link
  • Other credit
    Crawford George Alexandria Jones Andre Farstad Jesme Mingjia Zhang Yuri Maharaj
  • University
    Savannah College Of Art And Design

With more than 7 million people, Hong Kong is
one of the most densely populated places on
earth. Limited land area and cultural traditions
make it challenging for locals to find affordable
and sustainable ways of handling their
deceased. Today an estimated 50,000 families
are waiting upwards of 8 years to lay their dead
to rest. Even columbarium spaces are
becoming increasingly unattainable, filling up
faster than they are being built, and taking up
large areas of valuable land. As a result of land
shortage, grave sites are becoming
increasingly expensive and inaccessible to the
middle and lower class. To tackle this problem,
the government is investing in sea burial
services to provide an affordable and
accessible means for families needing closure.
The lack of respect associated with sea burials
has discouraged families from using this
option. It was essential to introduce a more
respectful and intimate means of releasing
cremated ashes into the ocean. Currently most
families use plastic bags to carry the ashes to
repurposed ferries before releasing them
through a slide or shoot off the boat's edge.
The urn is intentionally neutral in form and
comes together as two interlocking shells. A
hollow top shell is attached to its weighted
counterpart to create a controlled descent
through the water. Inside, the base of the urn
hold a compartment for the cremated ashes to
rest. It was important to encourage the
respectful handling and releasing of the urn so
touch points of the form were highly
considered. The smooth texture on the top
shell allows for personalization while the
rougher base indicates where it is meant to be
held. Industrial bio-waste like sugarcane and
spent paper are recycled into a pulp before
being compression molded. By using natural
materials the urn and its ashes can gradually
degrade.

Photo Credit: Savannah College Of Art And Design
Credits: Crawford George Alexandria Jones Andre Farstad Jesme Mingjia Zhang Yuri Maharaj