Bringing the topic of death into a new and unexpected environment, our ever-intrepid Design Ethnography M.A. candidates designed a 3-day drop-in workshop at Berlin’s design week. This collaborative format engaged design thinkers of all levels of experience to help us collect insights for primary research… And, of course, to help spread awareness of our mission.
The workshop had two central pillars:
1. Landscaping Death
How do you get a stranger to talk to you about how they envisage not just the process of dying, but being dead, and being remembered? Armed with a ton of prototyping materials, we invited participants to map out their conception of these stages of death. Working with stickies, LEGO™, colourful pens, and sensitive questions, we were able to get people to share with us their philosophical, cosmological, and sometimes very personal ideas surrounding death. One of our central insights here was that people would like to see their wishes fulfilled after they’re dead—yet have no idea how to prepare in the right way.
2. Dear Death
Taking a quiet minute as well as pen and paper to sit down after the intense first part of the workshop, participants here had the chance to introspect and to address their wishes, fears, and anxieties to death itself. The results (some of which were shared anonymously, testified to the need for an increased conversation around the topic.