Final Thesis Project at Lund School of Design, LTH, Lund University 2008. Coffins and urns made of a biodegradable plastic with added chalk.

Background – LCA of a Human?

To evaluate the environmental impacts of a material, product, process or activity a Life Cycle Assessment can be made. A LCA considers the environmental impacts along a product’s life from raw material acquisition to production, use and disposal. A term that often is used is “from cradle to grave”. The term made me think about making a LCA of a human as a part of a master project. Maybe there were things that could be improved in the disposal phase of a human? Could a concept for an eco-funeral become my master project?

The aim of the project was to get a holistic picture of what happens to a person from the moment she dies till she is buried – transport, storage, ceremony etc. The practical part that happens “behind the scenes”, when someone has past away, is seldom spoken of I Sweden. What can be done to adapt this procedure to the demands of the environment?



The coffins on the Scandinavian market pretty much all look the same. The chalk material generates a new type of coffin designs. Free forming opens up for endless design possibilities and fulfils the increasing demand for variation and personalization. It is hard to totally break with the traditions when designing a coffin. Even if the trend in Sweden is that the ceremonies get more and more personalized the security of tradition is still important. Therefore I made one concept quite classic, one simple, timeless one for a broad target group and one more conceptual soft shape.


The calcium works as a neutralizer of the acid leakage from cemeteries. Benefits with the coffins, compared to ordinary ones, are that they only contain one material – no screws, lacquer etc. is added. They are stackable and weigh much less than wooden ones and are therefore better concerning transportation and ergonomics. Reusable handles in solid wood.