UBC Graduate Research

Atmospheres of Grief : A study on spatializing grief rituals in the Greater Vancouver Area Connor, Lydia


This thesis seeks to explore how purposeful space making for grief can assist the grieving process and enable the Western culture to embrace grief as a part of every day. This thesis expands on the idea that grief is an emotional experience that should be supported more thoroughly. This is a proposal to create a space for the living to gather and individually reflect, celebrate and connect with deceased loved ones through grief rituals. The current cemetery model is no longer serving people in a healthy way – they have simply become outdated places to store bodies and not places to express grievances. The new funerary typology will have a focus on the natural qualities of the living world to create an atmosphere that is inclusive for non-religious, secular beliefs. It will highlight secular rituals for death rites as a method of accepting, processing and living with grief in the long-term. In addition to becoming a space for grievers, this design intervention will serve as a larger symbol of grief in the everyday to the community of the Greater Vancouver Area.

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