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Interior Design (MA)

Jin Zhan

In the near future, funeral homes will undergo a transformation, and instead of fearing death, society will come to accept it as part of the natural cycle of life.

Its 2050, and traditional cremation practices have been replaced by a more sustainable and environmentally friendly method: composting. This innovative approach has allowed human remains to decompose naturally, turning into fertile soil that nourishes new life.

Charleston, a city of the future, exemplifies this paradigm shift in funeral homes. Establishments like this are no longer places for handling bodies and conducting funerals; they have transformed into open, communal spaces. Within these funeral homes, people have access to various amenities such as lecture halls, libraries, and peaceful resting areas. This project seeks to ask: how can environmental pollution caused by cremation be reduced with the aim of fostering a better understanding and acceptance of death? The funeral home of the future will no longer be a space to be feared or avoided but a sanctuary of tranquility and healing.

Self Introduction

Jin Zhan is an interior designer with a strong passion for exploring the dynamic connection between people and nature. She is dedicated to creating sustainable and narrative-driven designs. With a focus on human-centric approaches, Jin Zhan designs spaces that not only engage the senses but also promote a sense of well-being and warmth. Looking ahead, her main area of interest lies in designing museums for the Anthropocene. She believes that through vibrant colors and inviting atmospheres, her designs can provide people with a sense of comfort and warmth.

site analysis
Inspired by virginia woolf
She was a stream of consciousness writer who suffered from a mental illness. Her life was filled with ups and downs. She wasn't a good wife, but she was a remarkable writer. One of her books that particularly resonates with me is "Orlando."
" In this book, she blurred the boundaries between life and death. The protagonist, Orlando, possesses eternal life, experiencing everything the world has to offer. In the end, she embraces everything and realizes that she has never truly died. However, Woolf replaces the concept of death with sleep. Each time Orlando goes through the hardships of life, she sleeps for seven days and nights. Each time she awakens, it is a rebirth. She experiences love, death, and more. Orlando is essentially a manifestation
The way bodies are disposed of nowadays
Cremation as the primary method of disposal of the body. First, the body is embalmed to make it less frightening for the family to see the deceased for the last time. Then, it is sprayed with diesel fuel to facilitate better combustion. After that, the body is the body is placed in a cremation chamber, and the entire process requires at least 8 kilograms of diesel fuel .Finally, you receive around 3 kilograms of ashes and contribute approximately 77 kilograms of waste and pollution to the environment.
Very polluting to the environment
During transportation, the body already causes a significant amount of pollution to the environment. Therefore, I want to change this current situation. It's evident that incineration not only causes severe environmental pollution but also the process itself is terrifying
In place of conventional burial practices,once the funeral and burial ceremony have concluded, the body will be transferred to a decomposition chamber. After 30 days, it will naturally decompose into fertilizer.The resulting fertilizer will then be dried and made available for loved ones to use in planting. Rather than traditional tombstones, plants will be grown as a replacement,signifying a shift from graveyards to green spaces.
Introduction to the site
Introduction to the siteThe original Charleston is divided into three parts: the main building becomes a public events area, with a promenade in the middle, and the garden section which is the area that mainly houses the funeral services
floor plan

Part II-Middle Promenade Analysis

The middle section is the interface between the two, providing an area for contemplation and rest, as well as an open terrace with a view of the entire funeral service process.

New area
To the left of the newly created space is an area specifically designed for the storage of frozen bodies. This section serves as a space for embalming and conducting funeral ceremonies.
new area
To the lright of the newly created space is composting space for bodies. Once the bodies are transferred to the decomposition chamber, unmanned drones will retrieve the fully decomposed remains after a period of 30 days. These remains will then be carefully placed on shelves for the drying process.
the process
Eventually planted around Charleston, like the annual rings of a tree