Capsula Mundi: Life Out of Death


Marilene Rivas, Staff Writer

Death is known as the dreadful, yet inevitable side effect of life; however, people may now reverse the cycle and cause life to succeed death.

This is the challenge Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel, Italian designers, decided to strive towards for more than a decade. They worked on this project because they were intrigued by the rituals that proceed death.

Surprisingly enough, this concept is not entirely new. These Italian, biodegradable coffins mimic sacraments of earlier civilizations which planted something in place for those who had passed away. These new coffins are now being built for two reasons; sentimentality and the earth’s environmental state.

When a loved one passes away, it is tough for many to view the uncomfortable, inanimate tombstones as the marker of the last resting place.

With the Capsula Mundi, a tree is chosen by the customer before death. The tree can be a symbol of something personal in the buried person’s life and adds sentimental value to the affair.

Furthermore, this living memory needs attention. The fact that this object requires care gives people an incentive to visit the place more frequently, warranting feelings of completion, purpose, and involvement. It attaches the reminiscence of life to people who feel like one has been taken away and gives them the freedom to contribute.

Consequently, the environment could be better off with the implementation of this project.

With every customer, one new tree is being planted, and the earth is gaining more friendly producers of oxygen. This benefits people and the environment as a whole.

They promote life and lead to the births of forests.

After burial, a tree is planted on top of the body (which is in the fetal position inside the biodegradable pod). Eventually, it helps feed the tree with nutrients, derailing the need for unnatural fertilizers.

The attitude towards this project seems friendly.

“I agree with this project. It provides the perfect solution for both the environment and the family of the deceased,” Gabrielle Annino, junior, said.

Although this project is still a thing of the future due to many hurdles, it could soon be a modern alternative to the current system.