Full Competition Information

1. Title
Future Dead: Designing Disposal for Both Dead Bodies and Digital Data

2. Prize

  • The Future Cemetery Design Award
  • Two months residency at Arnos Vale Cemetery in Bristol
  • The option of hot desking at the Pervasive Media Studio in Bristol
  • Mentoring
  • 5000 GBP for further project development


3. About the competition

  • The Future Cemetery provides the space for high quality research, innovation and creative exploration into the social, cultural and technological aspects of end of life, death and remembrance.
  • The Future Cemetery Design Competition is a call for responses to design challenges surrounding death, dying and disposal. It is the first competition sponsored by The Future Cemetery research centre; a partnership between Calling The Shots, The Pervasive Media Studio, Arnos Vale Cemetery Trust and the Centre for Death and Society at the University of Bath.
  • The first Future Cemetery Design Competition is using Arnos Vale Cemetery in Bristol, England as inspiration for the competition because of AVC’s position as an exemplar of innovative and creative Historic Working Cemeteries that focuses on long-term, sustainable development.


4. Theme

  • The disposal of human remains extends beyond the purely corporeal to increasingly digital and virtual remnants of a human life. This has startling implications both for us as individuals and families and, increasingly, for the business of dying.
  • The Future Cemetery 2016 Design Competition asks people to imagine a world where both human remains and a person’s digital footprint must be considered at the end of life.

Design challenges

  • How can the concept and practice of ‘Disposal’ be understood to encompass the organic and the inorganic, the physical and the digital?
  • How might relations between the body, the person, and digital memories be unfolded, intertwined, separated or combined?
  • Should disposal of the body be followed by disposal of remnant digital interactions?
  • Does the right to be dead also mean the right to be forgotten?
  • What role can future cemeteries play in managing new disposal possibilities and realities?
  • Finally, how might these points be addressed within Arnos Vale Cemetery’s Strategic Challenges?


5. Competition Process

  • Mid January 2016: Shortlisting Screening Session. The judges and the partners gather together and judge the submitted works.
  • February 7th: Future Cemetery event at the Watershed with a presentation of the shortlisted entries.
  • Early February: The winner will be selected from among the shortlisted entries.
  • February-March: The winning project participates with Future Cemetery partners in a two-month residency at Arnos Vale Cemetery for further prototype and project development with optional hotdesking at the Pervasive Media Studio.
  • April: Winning proposal exhibition at Arnos Vale Cemetery. The Shortlisted entries will also be exhibited.


6. Judges
* TBC *


7. Judging criteria

The shortlists and the finalists will be selected on the basis of a design that:

  • in concept and idea is true to the design challenge and overall theme
  • display uniqueness in its interpretation
  • engage with the future of cemeteries (space, time, place)
  • is feasible in terms of prototyping, production, time and finance
  • is thought provoking and workable
  • considers some of the strategic challenges faced by Arnos Vale Cemetery.


8. Registration deadline

Application registration will be accepted by 23:59 (GTM), December 31st, 2015.


9. Registration

Registration is now open, please fill in the form here. Teams should register with one name only – when submitting works you should add all team members names.

After registering, you will receive an application pack containing a submission form.


10. Submit your work/works

We invite proposals for prototypes and works of applied creative design thinking that address the above themes. These can be submitted in whatever form you choose (video, sound, working prototype, poster, imagery, website) but must be accompanied by a submission form and meet the minimum requirements:

  • Title of entry
  • Short written description (750 words max)
  • Visual imagery for representation of the ideas, overall and details (3 images, high quality print resolution, 300 dpi, CMYK colour, 4:3)


11. Deadline for Submission of work entries

Qualifying submissions must be received by 23:59 (GTM), January 8, 2016 using the submission form on this website (link)


12. Announcements of results

Shortlisted finalists will be chosen around the middle of January and notified by email (unless extended deadline).


13. Questions?

Please send your inquiries to design@futurecemetery.org


14. Info on FC

  • The Future Cemetery Project were founded by the Grade II listed Victorian Arnos Vale Cemetery (AVCT), the University of Bath’s Centre for Death and Society (CDAS) and learning and production agency, Calling the Shots. These pioneering collaborators began re-imagining cemetery spaces in 2012. With funding from the AHRC REACT Heritage Sandbox programme they brought together creative technologists, artists, and academics to experiment and explore issues around death. This first collaborative pilot project used augmented reality, soundscapes and performance to engage cemetery visitors.
  • The Future Cemetery pilot project was shortlisted for the International Design for Death Architecture competition in September 2013 and has received media attention from as far afield as the US and New Zealand.