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The Symbiocene Forest - Down to Earth

(Archive) Resting Reef: Restoring life through death

A sustainable death care service that transforms human ashes into beautiful reef structures to commemorate past lives, while building new life.

This project was part of DDW 2023
One of our 3d printed memorial reef designs — © Photo by Collective23

We develop a unique formula containing bone ash and crushed oyster shells to create beautiful 3D-printed reef structures that are then deployed in the ocean to regenerate marine life. The reefs are then cared for and monitored, and we provide support and rituals to people to connect with nature.

Transforming a polluting and outdated industry

Death is killing our planet. Our current funeral and burial practices promote deforestation, excess use of polluting materials, and embalming fluids that seek into the groundwater.

At the same time, one of the world's most threatened marine habitats is native oyster reefs with 85% of them being lost due to human activities.

Resting Reef is not only aiming to reduce negative impacts, but generate positive ones. By promoting the oyster settlements, ocean water will be filtered, CO2 will be captured, coastal erosion will be reduced, and marine life will be regenerated.
By placing multiple reef structures next to each other on the seafloor, we create a stable foundation for an ecosystem to be successfully restored.

Honouring Life

Resting Reef is as much about providing a sustainable alternative to conventional burial and memorial methods, as it is about radically changing the way we perceive death. We create new rituals and traditions around death that celebrate life. Whether alone, with loved ones, or as part of a wider community, Resting Reef offers a new meaningful tradition of memorialising.

We believe death doesn’t have to be the final step in the journey, but a stage in nature's cycle of life. Giving back to earth in this way allows life to live on – both in memory and in nature.

A female-led team

Resting Reef is a startup co-founded by design duo Aura Murillo and Louise Skajem.

Aura is an Experience Designer with a dual Master's from the RCA and Imperial College London. Her work focuses on the intersection between design, art, and science with a strong focus on human behaviour to enhance meaning. With first-hand experience going through the death of his father, she felt motivated to develop projects exploring death. These projects gave her the ability to discuss and work with sensitive topics, engage and collect testimonies, and experience working with experts within mental health and deathcare services.

Louise is an interdisciplinary designer who uses material exploration and biomimicry as methods to design innovations that tackle wicked problems, like climate change. She has an MA/MSc in Global Innovation Design where she studied and experimented with seaweeds and oysters. Louise was selected as the 2023 Bio Design Fellow for the Arts Foundation in the UK.

Andere deelnemers

The Symbiocene Forest - Down to Earth

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Andere deelnemers

The Symbiocene Forest - Down to Earth