This object is currently on display in room 107 as part of Nature—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial. See our image rights statement.


See more objects with the tag burial, death, sustainable, biodegradable.

Object Timeline


  • Work on this object ended.

  • We acquired this object.


  • Work on this object began.


Mourn, 2017-ongoing

It was designed by Nienke Hoogvliet and studio of Studio Nienke Hoogvliet. It is dated 2017-ongoing. Its medium is urn for over-fertilized soil, urn for rich soil, urn for poor soil, photograph of wastewater.

These biodegradable funerary urns are comprised of cremation ashes and a biodegradable plastic known as PHA, which helps regulate the disintegration process of the ashes. This allows toxins in the ashes to break down gradually into less impactful components that can then be absorbed into the soil and water. Nienke Hoogvliet collaborated with the Dutch Water Authority to produce the bioplastic.

It is credited Courtesy of the Energy and Raw Materials Factory initiated by the Dutch Water Authorities.

  • Object ID #18542347
  • watercolor, graphite, ruled border in brush and blac support: white laid paper.
  • Museum purchase through gift of various donors and from Eleanor G. Hewitt Fund.
  • 1938-88-3947

Our curators have highlighted 1 object that are related to this one.

This object has no known Copyright restrictions.

You are welcome to use this image in compliance with our terms of use.

For higher resolution or commercial use contact ArtResource.

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Mourn, 2017-ongoing |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=16 October 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>