You Only Live Thrice

You Only Live Thrice by R.M.N.Crosby from usa

designer's own words:

“There are three deaths: the first is when the body ceases to function. The second is when the body is consigned to the grave. The third is that moment, sometime in the future, when your name is spoken for the last time.”

David Eagleman
Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives

According to this excerpt from David Eagleman, there exist three deaths. The 'You Only Live Thrice' project deals with the period between the second and the third death – a period we shall call the third life, when people still mention the name of the physically deceased. Using Google Alerts™ or similar software, 'You Only Live Thrice' monitors the internet for new mention of the deceased. For example, this mention may occur in the form of an online news article, social media site, etc. When alerted of this new mention, a lighting system surrounding the grave or memorial of the relevant deceased is activated and remains active for a period of time.

This extreme version of data visualization unites the written and spoken memory of the deceased with the physical, tangible memory of their grave or memorial. Thus, in essence, 'You Only Live Thrice' is not a new memorial but a catalyst that fosters communication between two already existing forms of memory, the spoken word and the grave, and heightens our awareness of both.

SCALE 1 – LED Bulb
You Only Live Thrice’s lighting system is comprised of a number of individual LED bulbs. These LEDs are capable of long service life, high energy efficiency, and variation in lighting intensity. The direct light of the LEDs is evenly softened by an opaque, spherical plastic covering. A strong and lightweight metallic stem connects the LED bulb unit to a solar cell base, which powers the LED and passes additional power to a central lighting cluster for use by other, underpowered LEDs.

SCALE 10 – Grave Cluster
Each lighting unit is one of many in a larger lighting cluster surrounding a grave or memorial. The overall formation of this cluster is determined by the size and shape of the relevant grave’s base shape. Grave height determines the height of each individual lighting stem, increasing with the stem’s proximity to the grave and resulting in even lighting of the grave. Overall sunlight hours are measured at each point in the lighting cluster and determine the size of each solar cell base, thereby maximizing efficiency across varying natural lighting contexts.

SCALE 100 – Cemetery
The parameters of the previous two scales create a smoothly variable lighting system at the scale of the cemetery. Far from imposing, the subtle system blends into the context of an already existing and ever-changing cemetery, implying the natural presence of a fluorescent memorial meadow.

Facebook and the Facebook logo are registered trademarks of Facebook Inc. Wikipedia and the Wikipedia logo are registered trademarks of The Wikimedia Foundation. The Washington Post and the Washington Post logo are registered trademarks of The Washington Post. The aforementioned companies do not endorse this design project and are used strictly as hypothetical references. All content used is in line with company brand policies and/or used with permission.

Lighting systems at the cemetery are informed of two new online mentions of the deceased. The respective graves are illuminated accordingly.
You Only Live Thrice
A cemetery with lighting systems during the day.
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You Only Live Thrice
Steps illustrating the process of the design.
You Only Live Thrice
A diagram of the lighting system at the scale of an individual LED unit.
You Only Live Thrice
An elevation of an example grave plot and designed lighting system.
You Only Live Thrice
A plan of an example grave plot and designed lighting system.