The Last Gift by Raymond Hon

“A gift that reminds. A gift that takes away loneliness. A gift of acceptance and closure. A gift that offers a fleeting moment of familiarity yet at the same time informs the fact that some things are ephemeral and are lost forever no matter how hard one tries to hang on to.”

2050 designers from 96 different countries participated in this year’s Design for Death competition organized by designboom, in collaboration with the LIEN FOUNDATION and ACM FOUNDATION. Among the shortlisted entries we found a project by Raymond Hon, a 3D printed from the cremated remains of the departed, the last gift for the living …

Raymond: “As cremation becomes an increasingly common practice, many still find it awkward to display an urn of cremated remains in their house but at the same time, find it a pity to just leave what’s left of their loved ones in a columbarium, only to be forgotten over time. With advancement in technology, many things deemed impossible have become a reality. By creating a wind chime with components produced from the cremated remains of their loved ones, it is possible to aid in gaining acceptance and closure during the grieving process, and then serving as a reminder to the living of his/her existence. An abstracted image of the departed is obtained by inputting a portrait into an algorithm in Grasshopper, a generative design plugin for Rhinoceros (a 3D visualization software). The abstracted images are then printed as negative spaces in each piece of the wind chime. As the pieces align, the onlooker would be able to catch a glimpse of the image of the departed for a fleeting moment. At the same time, during the grieving process, one would try to align the pieces manually, only to realise that some things are ephemeral, and no matter how hard you try to hang on to it, it is lost forever.”

Raymond is a final year undergraduate at the National University of Singapore (NUS), Division of Industrial Design.

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