This Alternative Funeral is a Festive Farewell

This Alternative Funeral is a Festive Farewell

Would you be caught dead in a colorful, zip-up coffin?

Jeb Brack
  • 15 january 2016

It’s over. You have shuffled off this mortal coil, and everyone has come to pay their respects. They approach you as you repose in your fire-engine red coffin, to bid their final farewells. The funeral director opens the PVC lid.


On the assumption that you only get one chance to make a last impression, the Dutch design team of Visser and Meijwaard have reimagined the coffin—indeed, the entire funeral—to make it less drab and impersonal.


Instead of a pine box or a gunmetal grey casket, Steven Visser and Vera Meijwaard envision a cover of bright, primary-colored PVC on a stand made of oak. The cover can be opened by means of a zipper. The departed is wrapped and laid upon a stretcher, and the cover placed over them. The cover is removed before burial or cremation and can be reused, making funerals cheaper and more environmentally friendly. The effect is a clean, contemporary look, less somber mortuary than “mourning by IKEA”.


“The majority of coffins are uninspired, old fashioned and expensive,” Visser and Meijwaard told Dezeen. “They don’t meet the growing modern idea that the last farewell doesn’t have to be that depressing anymore and should be more personal. With the zipper we got rid of the claustrophobic idea of getting nailed into your coffin.” The designs, titled “Kassiewijle”, were created as part of Dutch Design Week 2015, and included flowers by Linda Nieustad and ceramics by Studio KnockOut.

coffin-red funeral

“Kassiewijle is a colourful alternative for the farewell,” say Visser and Meijwaard. “A setting in which you do want to be found dead. For the departed, nothing but the best!”

Visser and Meijwaard


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