Sunday, August 2, 2015

Reinventing Death for the Twenty-First Century

 "Increased longevity paired with ageing baby boomers means that our older population is growing at record speed — a phenomenon in developed countries from the UK to Japan. According to Professor David Clark, a researcher in end-of-life care at the University of Glasgow: “We’re seeing what we regard as a massive global issue. There’s a huge wave of dying, death and bereavement.” At the moment about one million people die each week around the world; within 40 years, that number is expected to double.

 Compounding the impact of this wave of death is the fact that, for many, the rituals, artefacts and meaning once found in religion no longer provide emotional solace. In the most recent UK census from 2011, the proportion of the population who reported they have no religion reached a quarter — growing to 25.1 per cent from 14.8 per cent a decade ago. A rising trend of agnosticism, atheism and non-affiliation with religion has also been surveyed in countries including France and the US.

 Dissatisfaction with legacy service providers and striking shifts in demographics have converged to make alternative ways of dealing with death — that universal experience — in demand. Today’s broadly secular society, especially one in which more of us will soon be dying than ever before, has to find contemporary strategies for death.

A new generation of designers are responding to this call, with novel and challenging ways of thinking. When well-designed technology can help improve our every living moment, why should it desert us in death?"

Reinventing Death for the Twenty-First Century — Medium

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