Death perception: envisioning a cemetery landscape for the 21st century
Sawatzky, Erin Leanne
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This practicum, "Death Perception: Envisioning a cemetery landscape for the 21st century", is a proposal for an alternative cemetery landscape, responding to changes in Western culture. An investigation into the historical, sociological and psychological evolution of Western society’s culture of death followed. Discerned patterns and conclusions were supplemented by sociological research and select interviews with professionals, regarding 20th century Western customs for dying, death and bereavement. The conclusions stemming from this research were then assessed for their implications regarding the landscape, particularly that of the cemetery. Cultural theory was translated into a culturally responsive landscape through further research regarding landscape theories and precedents of therapeutic landscapes, where people connect with nature, themselves and humanity. This research has informed a landscape design for Winnipeg, Manitoba that anticipates and responds to the emerging needs of the dying, the bereaved and the funerary industry of contemporary society.