Back in July, we wrote about the Bios Urn, a container for cremation ashes which biodegrades over time, distributing seedlings into the earth and sprouting trees in memory of the deceased. Belgian design company, Maximal Design has also been inspired by the universal need for designs surrounding death rites. Their Soul Ash Solace is a cremation coffin and urn in one.

The coffin itself is made from lightweight, eco-friendly cardboard, wood and paper mache, all of which burn easily without emitting harmful vapors into the air. The stainless steel urn, which is shaped like an hour-glass to symbolize that “time heals all wounds,” sits on top of the coffin. The urn withstands the heat of the burning process and gains a uniquely colored patina from the flames.

The idea with Soul Ash Solace is not only to bring beautiful design to a process we all go through, but also to create an inexpensive, environmentally-friendly solution to a ritual that can often be costly and polluting. The design was a nominee in this year’s Index: in Copenhagen, a well-deserved recognition of forward-thinking design for a largely unacknowledged, though truly universal life event.




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  1. sassy_red_head October 22, 2005 at 6:51 pm

    I’m not sure I’m understanding this properly;

    The coffin is burnt while the urn is with it. Are there any ashes put into the urn or is the urn just a keepsake from the process?

  2. Robert Verge October 13, 2005 at 12:38 am

    Beautiful and appropriate. Sorry but not surprised to find out that no one in the caretakers’ industry is showing much interest. Their gross lack of taste in general is only matched by their willingness to sell at the highest possible prices. Too bad people with good taste dislike thinking about death so much as well. Congratulations on this project. Just doing it shows much courage, and it is a work of art.

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