Juliana Yang

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The conceit of this project has been dramatically refracted by the world-stopping occurrence that is the COVID-19 ‘Coronavirus’ pandemic. Under government orders and a collective discipline, work on this imagined architecture for dealing with death have been done in home quarantine, simultaneous to the ver y real deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, whose families and loved ones have had to live the real task of reinventing grief in isolation. My own reimagining of the rituals humans perform as a way of dealing with death, and the role of architecture in pointing us in a more considered, more graceful, more telluric direction, was initially hopeful of being a reflection, an invitation to reflect on the consideration, the gracefulness, and the earthly importance of life.

The devastating and renewed urgency of dealing with mortality is occurring under a constraint that was unimaginable prior to its arrival; the necessity for grief, mourning, letting go, remembering, in isolation. Though we have taken both comfort and pain in the substitute of screens for interaction, it is my hope that the virtual will not be our only foreseeable reality. In the undertaking of ( what I should underscore as a pragmatically useless) project, my individual powerlessness to care for the world has taken refuge in the imagination of how architecture might make and be made with care.

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