Return to Earth – Introduction
“As a response to the effects of the pandemic – How can we facilitate and evolve death rituals through architecture to provide closure and remembrance in a modern context”
The year 2020 has left us facing a world we don’t recognise, we have been forced to confront our own mortality and the fragility of our routines. A harsh reality of the pandemic is that death has become a prevalent facet in our daily life. In this new world we have had to quickly adapt to change, ushering in a new normal.
Part of this change is the disruption to how we process and celebrate death due to the harsh consequences of social distancing. Our grief process has been disrupted in multiple ways – our personal ability to grieve, the private ceremonies we cannot host and the societal losses we have suffered. Our traditions are not always suitable for life in modern times. Seeing how Covid has disrupted our rituals highlights the potential for change in this area.
To promote the healthy processing of the challenging emotions of grief in isolation a dedicated landscape is being presented to aid the course of loss and the handling of death related sentiments. This space will not purely operate for Covid 19 but be a icon of evolution in how we celebrate the departed, through ceremony and through new environmentally beneficial practices and construction.
It is evident through researching Glasgow’s history with death that modern death is invisible. Cemeteries and Crematoriums are pushed to the city limits with graveyards falling into disrepair in the city fabric. We have cultivated an atmosphere of denial and fear surrounding death, making it a taboo subject. This attitude isolates those dealing with the difficult grief process and Covid has isolated them further.
This proposal intends to challenge this current narrative and look at how the pandemic could be a potential influence on the future of our societal relationship to loss. Through the devotion of space and a return to nature and our historic roots can we create an environment where we can express and confront our emotions in regards to grief? This proposal challenges our interaction with death and how we can develop in this area.