Eun Hae Kwon

Department: Contextual Design

Gates of mourning

This project grew out of my recent experience with loss, observing a society where death and mourning have been largely removed from the public realm.
There is an unspoken rule that mourning is something we do in the privacy of our inner lives, alone, away from the public eye. Mourning has been largely guided by religious communities but today, with religiosity in decline, families dispersed and the pace of life quickened, any elaborate, carefully staged mourning rituals and the locations for mourning are less and less common in our community. In a context where our society is clearly failing to give support and assistance in this stage, this project is a response to a claim: the claim to make mourning less concealed, more pervasive and familiar.
‘Gates of mourning’ is a nondenominational architecture model applied to a cemetery, for those experiencing grief.
Gates of mourning consists of 5 gates based on the universal 5 stages of mourning that were first proposed by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross(1969): denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
There is a gate of denial, a gate of anger, a gate of bargaining, a gate of depression and a gate of acceptance. They allow the mourners to explore their natural response to loss. With the main entrance where the deceased enters the cemetery for the funeral, the 5 gates for mourning are going to afford another entrance to the cemetery. They will be metaphorical portals to mark the transitional phase of a person’s journey of mourning.

Copyright Design Academy Eindhoven

Copyright: Design Academy Eindhoven
Photographs: Femke Rijerman