Capsula Mundi, an innovative company revolutionizing traditional burial methods, is making strides with its unique “tree burial pods,” transforming the way we approach the end of life.
Originally conceived by Italian designers Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel, Capsula Mundi champions a unique concept where the deceased become part of nature’s cycle. Their biodegradable pods transform human remains into nutrients, nurturing a tree planted above. This novel idea replaces tombstones with living memorials in a forest-like setting.
Recent developments in 2023 include notable exhibitions showcasing Capsula Mundi’s vision. The project featured at the PAN, Palazzo delle Arti in Naples, within “R / Poggioreale. Between Images and Imaginations,” an exhibit focused on innovative cemetery systems. It also appeared at the “Reverse Towards a New Paradigm” exhibition in Florence, where design language explores a harmonious balance between human and nature.
In a significant stride, the Field Museum of Chicago incorporated Capsula Mundi in its “Death: Life’s Greatest Mystery” exhibit, underlining the concept’s cultural and ecological relevance.
The burial pod would then be planted in the soil like a seed
Here’s the process
Capsula Mundi’s burial pods work by encasing the deceased in a biodegradable pod made from a bio-polymer. The process involves placing the body in a fetal position inside the pod. This pod is then buried in the earth, and a tree is planted above it. Over time, the body decomposes, and the nutrients from the decomposition feed the tree, allowing it to grow.
This method transforms traditional burial sites into living memorials, with trees instead of tombstones, and symbolically continues the cycle of life through nature.
The capsule is made from a starch plastic which is 100% biodegradable
Your loved ones would then be able to take care of your tree
Manufacturing of the prototype of the Capsula for the body
Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel with the artistic mockup of the Capsula for the body
Capsula Mundi Urn
While the body pod remains in the conceptual stage, awaiting further legal and scientific development, Capsula Mundi has released a smaller urn for ashes, reflecting the same eco-friendly philosophy. This urn is available for purchase worldwide, illustrating the project’s global reach despite varying legal challenges in different countries.
In some regions like England, green burials are more readily embraced, indicating a growing acceptance of alternative funeral practices.
The Capsula Mundi team believes these innovations respond to the contemporary challenges of limited space, environmental impact, and rising funeral costs. They envision a future where unconventional, greener burial options become increasingly prevalent, allowing more people to return to nature in a respectful and sustainable manner.
The urns are currently on sale on their website, and you can also check out more from this project over at their Facebook page. Hopefully, within the next few years, graveyards will start to look like forests! You can check out even more cool burial methods!