Organic Burial Pods Aim to Replace Coffins and Transform Graves Into Trees

People started questioning all traditions, which is undoubtedly beneficial, as it brings about revolutionary changes in society. In this way, many are now changing their approach to death, and a new Italian project has offered an interesting new concept.

The project by Italian designers Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel, titled “Capsula Mundi”, involves the transformation of the body to a seed of a tree after death.

They got the idea in 2003, after seeing tons of furniture trashed at the end of Milan’s famous design fair, “Salone del Mobile.”

Bretzel said:

“It was a big competition to design new things, but almost nobody cared about the future impact or whether anyone would actually use these things. We started thinking about projects that could have an environmental aspect.

Death is part of our life but at design fairs, nobody cares about that because it’s one side of our life that we don’t want to look at. We don’t like to think of death as part of life.”

Instead of wooden coffins, the pair has created an organic and biodegradable capsule. In this way, the deceased will provide nutrients for a tree they have chosen that will be placed above the area that they were buried.

According to the project’s website:

“It’s an egg-shaped pod, an ancient and perfect form, made of biodegradable material, where our departed loved ones are placed for burial. Ashes will be held in small egg-shaped bio urns while bodies will be laid down in a fetal position in larger pods. The Capsula will then be buried as a seed in the earth.”

The body is placed in the biodegradable capsule in a fetal position. A tree or a seed of a tree is planted on top of the capsule.

The capsule is planted like a seed in the soil.  

The capsule is entirely biodegradable, made up of starch plastic.

Pods and trees can be planted together in the form of a “Memorial Forest”.

Yet, due to the burial laws in Italy, the physical component of the idea has yet to come true.

Displayed pods in Jaffa, Israel.

Yet, the idea behind the project is marvelous, and if the project succeeds, many would be to connect with their loved ones who have passed by taking care of a tree.

As the designers of the organic coffins add, “cemeteries will acquire a new look and, instead of the cold grey landscape we see today, they will grow into vibrant woodlands.”