Memorial, Digital Remains, Archive, Architecture, Crypt
Humans no longer leave behind solely physical remains. We accrue countless digital files, photos, etc. that are part of our lives and reveal who we are. We have well established architectural typologies for physical living, spaces for viewings and funerals [the threshold] and typologies for storing and curating physical remains. There is a pragmatic "architecture" for the living digital in the form of vast server warehouses, which additionally house digital artifacts from deceased users out of necessity as there has yet to be an established typology for their permanent archiving. There is also no respectful digital equivalent to the funeral or burial of the physical corpse. This needs to be addressed.
The architecture of death is arguably the most universal of all programs and already contains aspects of virtuality embedded in the traditional typologies. Funerary architecture was once the most important part of the field, evidenced by the Great Pyramids and ancient mausolea, but has now been largely relinquished by architects to tradesmen in the secularized world. Applying the digital to the architecture of death is an opportunity for transforming multiple aspects of a program that has remained the same since before the electronic era.
Stattman, William, "en[crypted]: A memorial archive for the preservation and sanctification of digital remains." (2013). Architecture Senior Theses. 180.
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