Cardboard coffin concept
Sometimes an idea is clear enough that it almost speaks for itself. The easyfuneral, a concept by designer Mark Berkers, is a good example. It’s a simple, cardboard coffin that’s suitable for use in funerals, though we expect that not everyone would choose bright orange colour pictured.
The designer became aware of a glaring problem. Standard coffins, made of cheap wood, frequently cost hundreds of euros or dollars, yet are in ‘active’ use for only a very short while. In contrast, this design aims to provide exactly what is needed: a disposable box for a short-lived service.
The box is made of brown, corrugated card, and is securely glued in the corners. Each panel is made of three layers of card, while the corners and bottom plate are reinforced. This means that each box is strong enough to support a human body. The body is first placed in a bio-degradable plastic bag to collect any fluids.
Common preconceptions are easy to imagine: cardboard boxes are disrespectful, or at least undignified, to some people, particularly the older generation.
Berkers feels that the cardboard coffin could appeal to the younger generation, however. Our age is dominated by practicality, efficiency and the concerns of economy. At the same time, the easyfuneral taps into concerns of environmental responsibility.
The design is exactly what it needs to be. It is strong enough and keeps smells inside. The point of this funeral redesign is to show how a little materials’ thought can go a long way to making funerals more practical, easier, and cheaper, without skimping on the important act of service that this ceremony entails. In that regard, we can only hope that other designers take a good look at other ways in which design can improve our surroundings, even in the afterlife.