Morbid, maybe, but sustainable as well: this combination wooden bookcase-and-coffin idea takes the concept of eco-friendly “cradle-to-grave” and applies it with dark literal humor.
Maybe most people don’t want to look at the materials that will someday house their corpse as they go about their daily routines, but others might find a sort of comfort in knowing they’ve taken at least a small step to prepare for the inevitable. The components of this bookshelf transform into a DIY coffin, and the designer has offered the plans so you can make one yourself.
If you think about it, this is not just a green way to go but a practical (if strange) strategy to spare your loved ones additional expenses after you die. Instead of sorting out which coffin to buy they can simply take apart your shelf system and construct it out of already-purchased parts.
While it is constructed of wood and designed by William Warren to weather and age with you, it might be a good idea to take care of this bookcase while you are still around since it will be traveling with you underground.
“These shelves are designed to last you a lifetime. The wood will colour, the surfaces will mark and stain and over the years and the furniture will become a part of you. When you die, the shelves can be taken apart and reassembled as a coffin. The brass plate under the bottom shelf, that tells the story about this transformation, is then flipped over and you’re dates inscribed on it.”
“The shelves were first launched at the British Library during the 2005 London Design Festival. Please email me if you would like the measurements and instructions to build your own shelves. You will need to include your height and build. I’d like to see your homemade versions please so email me the images if you’ve made any already.”