A euthanasia roller coaster, a virtual near-death experience or an app to continue to communicate with your loved one after his death. A few examples of the designs that can be seen in the new exhibition "(Re) design Death". Spread over two exhibition rooms, there are around fifty current designs around preparation for death, farewell, mourning and eternal life.
The exhibition shows how designers, often after a personal experience, give substance to the needs and rituals that exist around death. Being able to talk about death can make a big difference in reducing fear of death and accepting death as part of life. In addition, ten designers are currently working in a Design Challenge on a concept around the question "do you want to live forever?" The three best designs eventually get a place in the exhibition.
Tickets & info
- Entrance: €12,50
- Dutch Museumkaart & BankGiro Loterij VIP kaart valid
- Tueday to Sunday, open from 11:00 to 17:00 h.
- Tickets available at counter, but booking online in advance advised due to limited availability
With the advancement of medical science, dying has increasingly become a medical process. There are people who assume that we will no longer have to die in the foreseeable future. For the time being, however, we die at the average age of 80.9 years for women and 76 years for men (source: CBS, 2018). Preparation is therefore not an unnecessary luxury.
In the spotlight: One of the designs in the exhibition that can help with this preparation is "Outrospectre" (2020) by Dutch designer Frank Kolkman. With the help of virtual reality, Kolkman designed a near-death experience based on the belief that this reduces the fear of death.
With the secularisation of the Netherlands, there are fewer and fewer clearly defined rituals for how we say goodbye to death and how we say goodbye to loved ones who die. More and more often a personal interpretation of the funeral is chosen. For example, designers design alternatives for the straightforward coffin.
In the spotlight: Sjeng Schellinx from Maastricht is the designer of the reclining couch: a coffin in which the deceased is laid out in a “lazy armchair position”. Design duo Citelli and Bretzel have a very different way to bury a body. Their "Capsula Mundi" consists of a biodegradable, egg-shaped capsule in which the deceased body is placed. After burial, a tree is planted on this as a memorial. Survivors take care of the tree and thus it offers a different way of remembering. In addition, this changes the face of cemeteries.
In the past, a certain period of mourning was common, in which only sober, black clothing was worn. In the period of heavy mourning, stationery and handkerchiefs were bordered in black. Nowadays, many surviving relatives come up with their own mourning rituals to accommodate their sorrow and lack. In the Netherlands, traditional black no longer dominates. In many non-Western cultures, white is precisely the color that symbolizes death.
In the spotlight: Designer Marije Vogelzang designed a complete white meal for a funeral in 1999; both food and crockery and the room in which the meal is served was white. Especially for the exhibition, she is making a redesign adapted to the present tense. Terms such as organic, sustainable and animal-friendly are included in the design.
The final theme of the exhibition exposes the most extreme redesign of death: the elimination of death. Cube has asked ten young designers to think about questions concerning eternal life. Do you want to live forever? And what do you have for that? What is life anyway, what is consciousness? In a competition, the designers set to work on making a "conversation piece" on this theme.
In the first two weeks after the opening of the exhibition, the public can cast their vote for the piece that they think will best start the conversation. Based on these votes and the opinion of a professional jury, the three best designs are chosen. The designers of this win a sum of money and see their design reflected in the exhibition for the entire duration.
VR Exposition (Re)Design Death
Concept & composition
Gène Bertrand, Cube design museum
Wouter van Dillen, Cube design museum
Van Eijk van der Lubbe
Van Eik van der Lubbe
Anton Kos, Werk op Zolder
Madeleine van Daele, Cube design museum
Van Eijk van der Lubbe
Vivian van Slooten, Cube design museum
Special thanks to
Viola van Alphen (Manifestations), Laura Cramwinckel (Museum Tot Zover), Nienke Helder (Design Academy EIndhoven), Jeroen Junte, Susanne Khalil Yusef, Roos Kuipers, Chequita Nahar (MAFAD Maastricht), Guus Sluiter (Museum Tot Zover), Marieke Sonneveld (TUDelft End of Life Lab), Mark Sturkenboom, Raffaela Vandermuhlen (Design Academy Eindhoven), Marion Vredeling (Bibliotheek TUDelft)
Made possible by
Dr. C.J. Vaillant Fonds
11 February 2020 t/m 24 January 2021MondayTemporarily ClosedTuesdayOpen during visiting hoursWednesdayOpen during visiting hoursThursdayOpen during visiting hoursFridayOpen during visiting hoursSaturdayOpen during visiting hoursSundayOpen during visiting hours