Design is such a powerful tool that when it is used well, can be life-changing. My Godfather is a funeral director and has been for many decades, so this article on rethinking and redesigning death and funerals had a great resonance with me.

Change is ever-present. If we want to affect the outcome of a process using design, we need to approach it from all angles. Sometimes we need to rethink the entire process from top to bottom, and inside out. Creative Review has a great article about rethinking a process that we all encounter, that of funerals – Exit Here: The Future of Funeral Planning?

While the core elements of a funeral remain the same: collecting a body; preparing it for burial or cremation; and the conduct of a ceremony. By being willing to reconsider how the funeral industry approaches its core service, Exit Here has used design thinking to reimagine the customer journey and experience.

There was also a conscious decision to “all but eliminate black from the funeral world”, … opting for a neutral but more cheerful blue instead.

Ben Masterton-Smith, Director at Transit Studio

Without changing the function of a funeral parlour, but by changing the visual appearance of a funeral parlour, subsequently changes the experience from the start. Similarly, looking at how you can change other pieces of the user journey, such as bright yellow coffins and modern blue urns help to shift focus. By including options such as the choice of being buried on a farm the design team have, in short, reimagined funerals. We are all different, and no two funerals should be the same.

“You want to leave people with a positive memory of your life. You want people to think, ‘that’s the person I knew and loved’ – and I think we need to try and change the compass on how people see the culmination of their life. Of course, no-one wants to die, but we’re all going to – we know it’s coming – so let’s make it a more joyous affair, particularly for the people left behind.”

Oliver Peyton, Exit Here

This is an excellent example of rethinking the approach to a problem and improving the experience for those involved. What could you reimagine by changing your approach?

Photo by Kerri Shaver on Unsplash

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