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‘‘Touching Death’’ by Lauren Raaijmakers

To make her own mourning process easier, Lauren Raaijmakers made an urn that represents new ways of dealing with death, emotions and products that come with it. For example the feeling of missing a person or the fact that you have an urn with their ashes in it. These can all be new experiences when dealing with the death of a loved one.

The design is a symbiotic urn that is made of scoby. Scoby is made out of a symbiotic culture that exists of bacteria and yeast. DNA like hair and blood can be integrated into the scoby, so the distance between the deceased and the living person is smaller. When it is dried, it is a skin-like texture that is quite thin and is even a bit see through. However, this was the goal, because this way, it is more of a bonding process rather than just a mourning process with a distance between a person and the deceased. The Designer, Lauren Raaijmakers, came up with the idea when her grandpa sadly passed away due to covid-19. Her mourning process was forced to be different than what we’re used to. She couldn’t have a proper goodbye or seek physical support from her family due to lockdown and infection risks. Therefore the urn is supposed to evoke the grieving process by touch and closeness. As she says herself, it really helped her with the grieving process. The urn is supposed to decompose after some time. The design is not made to last, though, it is made to have a connection with the past (being a person). Our trend ‘Preserving the Past’ is all about finding new ways to preserve and connect with memories. We want to cherish and hold onto the comfort of the past. We want to capture that feeling of comfort and memories in new ways and by creating new sentimental pieces. This way of preservation gives us new memories and something meaningful to hold on to, while feeling the emotions we need to feel to move on and make new memories while doing that. If you want to know more about ‘Touching Death’ or what else Lauren Raaijmakers does, you can check out her site or her instagram @lauren.raaijmakers .

Spotted and written by Valerie den Boer

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