design for death


turnlight by Agnese Dal Pont, Agnese Nicchio, Barbara Mori, Carla D'andrea from italy

designer's own words:

tURNlight transforms the Urn from a simple ash container to a generator of emotions, radically changing the common concept of it. tURNlight is built with the ash itself to obtain a more profound contact with the deceased. The “contact” takes place on two levels: a physical level through the touch of the urn surface and a spiritual level, using the subconscious of the REM sleep, in which we are accompanied by a gradual shutdown of emitted light. It is scientifically proven that dreaming helps to overcome grief and painful memories. "The stage of sleep in which we dream has an unique neurochemical composition that gives us a sort of night therapy, like a soothing balm that removes the most painful moments of emotional lived experiences." (Matthew Walker, Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology)

The light emitted by tURNlight across holes in the surface reflects the soul of our Dear one and creates an immersive atmosphere thanks to the special lighting effect. It helps to feel closer the beloved dead one and it helps you to live the grief of his/her loss more peacefully. The ignition of tURNlight takes place simply by stroking the glass base, which uses the technology of capacitive touchscreen, evoking the gesture of caressing the beloved. The environment is gradually illuminated by a soft light that helps introspection and gently brings the person to sleep. During REM, the desire to communicate with the beloved grows stronger and tURNlight lets you to feel his/her presence again inducing a serene awakening. This process helps the gradual overcoming of loss. tURNlight is composed of a cap made of ash, held together by a minimum cement compound, on which holes of variable size are made. The cap is installed on a frosted glass support equipped with capacitive touchscreen technology. Inside, the lighting element can be switched on and off with a circulation effect thanks to a timer that controls the switching.

conceptdiurnal view and detail[jwplayer config=”mplayer” width=”818px” height=”600px” file=”” html5_file=”” download_file=””]video

nocturnal view nocturnal viewnocturnal view of the room and the entire atmosphere

  • This is a amazing idea, I just don’t know how to feel about it. Everyone knows not to touch ash- but this gives you the chance to touch them. I have some of my dad’s ashes, just not sure how the family would feel about making him a light. Still a super cool idea.

    Deedra says:
  • Thank you for this wonderful idea. I will remember this when it is my parent’s time. I am so close with them not sure what I will be like when that time comes. This would be a great idea to help me let them go.

    Tammy says:
  • “Everyone knows not to touch ash” – have you ever thought about the fact that the fingers doing the touching are composed of re-used matter that may have been incorporated into billions of organic lifeforms over the years. Matter is not special. It is everywhere. Spirit however, is only the real you.

    Noah Hornberger says:
  • I really want to get one . Hope one day my ashes can be a beautiful light to light up the rest of my lover’s life.
    when and where can I buy one?

    Demi says:
  • Where can I buy one of these?

    Yent'l says:
  • I was wondering about the cost and availability of the tURNlight

    Amanda says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

shortlisted entries