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The Last Great Necessity

Death isn’t expensive, but the socio-economic regulations that are entangled around the rituals related to death, make death or memorializing someone a form of property. A cemetery’s proximity to a neighborhood, the plot, the location of the plot in the cemetery, family burial lots, religious and ethnic group based tombstones and gravestones are just a few physical properties attached to death. The project ‘The Last Great Necessity’ aims to dismantle the institutionalized funeral industry by subtly deconstructing and de-formalizing its operations. By pushing towards a new landscape aesthetic and moving past the social and physical confines of death, we can create new connections to the city. Reinserting the cemetery into the urban context, while pushing for re-integration of diverse rituals, would bring back the precolonial way of how death and dying are dealt with. Memorial grounds could invoke a feeling of remembrance only when life and death is in spatial continuity. This is achieved with nature taking over the dead organic matter in the form of a landscape of flowering plants and shrubs, suggesting the continuation of the circle of life. The boundaries of property blur when demarcations are gone. The stone markers and the mowed grass are replaced with collective care and maintenance of the space, bringing in a sense of domesticity to the exterior landscape. People are invited to place objects of the dead to create banal ground of personal belongings.