Jesse Verdoes

Borders & Territories

Interactions with a standardized architecture of death (fragment)

The Banality of Death: Interweaving territories of life and death at the outskirts of Mashhad

Although death is embedded in the culture and history of Mashhad, the present-day displacement of burials to the outskirts of the city, together with a streamlined, dehumanised and bureaucratised funeral ritual, have resulted in a disengagement between spaces for the living and the dead. As a reaction to this development, the thesis reflects on the tensions that arise between traditional values and the modern transformations of the burial process.

In the act of creating a variety of mappings which I refer to as complexity drawings, these tensions are translated into three rest-sites: the playscape, the washing station and the viewing tower. Located along the highway that connects the city to the main cemetery, each design accommodates a place for rest and leisure while simultaneously providing new emotional space in an extended funeral ritual. By interweaving different streams of people, the interventions act as mediators between territories of the dead and living.