Digital nEcrolegacy

Living in a world dominated by social networking, how will facebook society preserve its own digital legacy?

Digital nEcrolegacy Crematorium speculates on a plausible near future where, the boundaries between our real social status and our digital one are blurred. East London will be at the forefront of London’s high-tech growth and innovation with its own technological hub to rival Silicon Valley. As our physical and digital realities become ever more entwined, an opportunity arises to propose a new hybrid  typology comprising of a digital crematorium and archive. This project responds to a growing demand of users that choose to replace the conventional funerals, graves and grieving rituals, with a digital ‘after-death’ profile of themselves.

In the years to come, the existing crematorium typology will be revised to offer a choice of immortality to our digital selfs, which ultimately leads to redemption.

Georgios Manousis


This project reflects upon the hybrid workshop and market spaces that characterise many Italian cities, and indeed were found on our study trip to Istanbul. There is scope for such complex economic and urban spaces to emerge in Hackney Wick, although the dominant logics of property development will certainly certainly dictate otherwise at present. There are then two aspects to the research of this project: economic and poetic.

At a spatial level, this project aims for a surrounding that has an inherent poetic power, which can excite and disorientate a person by blurring the boundaries between the exterior, interior, the hidden and the exposed. Shown here are some formal explorations and variations in the narrative of the Bottega where materials (fabric formed concrete and leather) communicate and influence each other. These are the elements of an artisan architecture, an urban (re)generation which re appropriates space through body and movement to establish a new community of makers in London. In parallel with material and formal exploration, the project explores what planning and economic policy changes might be required to enable the growth of such a space

‘All that is solid is made to be broken tomorrow, pulverized or dissolved, so it can be replaced next week, and the whole process can go on again and again, hopefully forever, in ever more profitable forms’ (Berman, 1987). Creative destruction characterises many processes by which capitalist development grows out of the destruction of some prior order. Within the colliding and fractured urban landscape of Hackney Wick and the Olympic site, what new city type can be re-imagined? An in-between zone is proposed, acting as a political suture – the process of destruction-creation is reversed to “an uninterrupted process of creation and re-creation” (Constant, 1974). The ‘floating city’ is grounded in the urban fracture and escapes the contextual air space pressure by minimizing its footprint and exploiting the structure of existing buildings. It is fed and grows using waste materials from construction and destruction sites, and hosts a fragile network of artistic communal spaces.

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, has recently spoken publically about the need for ‘Moral Capitalism’; but with protesters camped outside St Paul’s Cathedral, and the British, European and World economies in turmoil, is now the time to question the entire nature of our economic behaviour? Consumption is not community, and perhaps only through joint creativity can we progress beyond contemporary contradictions.

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Today’s mass media economists tell us that we must strive for balance. Deficit must be balanced by cuts. Downturn must be balanced by job losses. I question whether it is possible to create such an economy of symmetry, and wonder about the complicity of architectural aesthetics