4-6 September 2024, Falmouth University (Falmouth Campus) // 4-6 September 2024, Falmouth University (Falmouth Campus) // 4-6 September 2024, Falmouth University (Falmouth Campus) // 4-6 September 2024, Falmouth University (Falmouth Campus) // 4-6 September 2024, Falmouth University (Falmouth Campus) // 4-6 September 2024, Falmouth University (Falmouth Campus) //


From 4-6 September, the Department of Graphic Design, Falmouth University (UK), and the Death and Culture Network, University of York (UK); in partnership with the Stamps School of Art & Design, University of Michigan (USA), and the Glasgow End of Life Studies Group, University of Glasgow (UK) are hosting the DEATHxDESIGNxCULTURE: RADICAL RE-IMAGININGS FOR THE END OF LIFE conference.

The conference seeks to open discursive space for ‘traditional’ as well as practice-based and practice-led research to critically reflect on the role of design as it relates to death, dying, and disposal at individual, community, and broader cultural levels, and to suggest radical alternatives for the future.  

With a focus on interdisciplinarity, the conference aims to support knowledge exchange between researchers within the social sciences, the humanities, and design. Design is positioned as an expanded field inviting contributions from subject areas including, but not limited to: graphic design; multidisciplinary design; architecture; digital design; fashion design; and product design. 

A multi-modal approach will stretch the conventions of a conference format, incorporating experience design; exhibitions and pedagogic interventions; university-industry knowledge transfer; and opportunities for traditional academic papers.



DEATHxDESIGNxCULTURE are pleased to announce a partnership with .able journal to develop selected conference papers into visual essays for peer-review and publication.

With its shared focus on practice-based research at the intersections of art, design, and the sciences, the image-based journal is an ideal publishing partner for the multi-modal ambitions of the conference. Initiated by La Chaire Arts & Sciences (2017-2023) of the École Polytechnique, the École des Arts Décoratifs – PSL, and the Fondation Daniel and Nina Carasso, .able is open-access, peer-reviewed, and supported by some thirty international academic partners. 

Working with the Department of Graphic Design at Falmouth, selected conference papers will be developed into image-based contributions based on one of .able journal’s five visual essay formats for submission and review post-conference.
 Keynote Speakers // Keynote Speakers // Keynote Speakers // Keynote Speakers // Keynote Speakers // Keynote Speakers // Keynote Speakers // Keynote Speakers //

Julijonas Urbonas is an artist, designer, researcher, engineer, founder of Lithuanian Space Agency, associate professor at Vilnius Academy of Arts. Former Director of a Soviet amusement park in Klaipeda.

Working between critical design, amusement park engineering, performative architecture, choreography, kinetic art and sci-fi, he has been developing various critical tools of negotiating gravity: from a killer roller coaster to an artificial asteroid made up entirely of human bodies. In these projects he coins the term of gravitational aesthetics, an artistic approach exploiting the means of manipulating gravity to create experiences that push the body and imagination to its extremes.

Laura Cramwinckel studied Man & Public Space (BA) at Design Academy Eindhoven and Religious Studies (MA) at Tilburg University in The Netherlands, with a thesis on the makeover of dutch crematorium architecture. Working to improve death awareness she landed a job at the infamous Museum Tot Zover (‘So Long’), a fringe museum on dying, funerals and grief in Amsterdam. Here, heritage, art and contemporary design all come into play when luring visitors over the threshold. She masterminded the development of a new website, educational and participative projects, a nationwide marketing campaign as well as curating thematic exhibitions The Last Pet (2019/2020), Dutch Death Design (2022) and A Delicious Death 2023/2024).  

Currently Laura is Head of Program & Research (chief curator).

 Keynote Workshop // Keynote Workshop // Keynote Workshop // Keynote Workshop // Keynote Workshop // Keynote Workshop // Keynote Workshop // Keynote Workshop //

Images courtesy of © 2024 The University of Michigan
Provocative Designs for End of Life Reflection

Presented by Bruce Tharp and Stephanie Tharp

Despite the prevalence and great repute of “provocation" to improve people’s reflection on death and dying, little is settled regarding best practices. As discursive designs (critical design, speculative design, design fiction) are often presented as not fully functioning, merely speculative, and not necessarily even earnest proposals, they can be seen as “safe” and unshackled from the common mechanisms and attitudes toward ethical oversight. More so than advocating codes of conduct and standards, vigorous, longitudinal, reflective, inclusive, and consensual debate is posited as a responsible path forward for a community of practice. This interactive 90-minute workshop contributes to what that might involve and help to evolve. Participants will be introduced to one practical and one ethical framework to help discuss, evaluate, and re-design some of the real world artifact examples that are on display in the DeathXDesignXCulture exhibitions. The goal is to generate robust debate around specific cases and contexts to understand better where the ethical “line” might be. Oh, and we will be using the humor of stand-up comedians to open up the dialogue.


Public Screening Programme // Public Screening Programme // Public Screening Programme // Public Screening Programme // Public Screening Programme // Public Screening Programme // Public Screening Programme // Public Screening Programme //