Alison Killing: There’s a better way to die, and architecture can help
Alison Killing - Architect
An architect and urban designer, Alison Killing uses journalism, filmmaking and exhibitions to help people better understand the built environment. Full bio
about death and architecture.
of infectious diseases like pneumonia,
would take us away quite quickly.
in our own beds, looked after by family,
lacked access to medical care.
a lot of things changed.
those infectious diseases.
like x-ray machines were invented.
so big and expensive,
buildings to keep them in,
universal healthcare systems
treatment could get it.
from about 45 at the start of the century
optimism about what science could offer,
death was forgotten,
I've been looking at these changes
related to death and dying.
of cancer and heart disease,
will have a long period of chronic illness
in hospitals and hospices and care homes.
and the endless corridors
has earned its bad reputation.
it wasn't always like this.
built in 1419 by Brunelleschi,
and influential architects of his time.
and then think about hospitals today,
this building's ambition.
have daylight and fresh air,
and they have high ceilings,
more comfortable to be in.
that that's even possible for a hospital.
for dying, then we have to talk about it,
of death uncomfortable,
as a society approach death.
most in my research, though,
there were protests in the local village.
and 99.8 percent of people got buried.
three quarters of us get cremated.
to changing things
to talk about them.
about death and architecture
when I did my first exhibition on it
which was called "Death in Venice."
literally engage with it.
which is an interactive map of London
of the real estate in the city
the building or cemetery, is revealed.
was a series of postcards
of the different spaces
on either side of death.
that where we die
that visitors reacted to the exhibition,
and running and jumping
the exhibits in different ways,
they would kind of stop
an exhibition about death,
how you're supposed to act.
whether there is one way
about what you think a good death is,
that supports a good death might be like,
and a little more like this?
About the speaker:Alison Killing - Architect
An architect and urban designer, Alison Killing uses journalism, filmmaking and exhibitions to help people better understand the built environment.
Why you should listen
Alison Killing is an architect and urban designer working to engage people with their built environment, via design of buildings and urban strategies, film making, exhibitions and events. She explores the relationship between death and modern architecture, looking at how cities are rebuilt after disaster.
Recent projects include Death in the City (and its first iteration, Death in Venice, which was shown as an independent event during the opening week of the Venice Architecture Biennale), a touring exhibition about death and modern architecture; work with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies on better rebuilding after disaster and how to integrate relevant urban design tools into humanitarian response; and a study of financial models for arts and community projects temporarily using vacant buildings to help these projects become self-sustaining.
Alison Killing | Speaker | TED.com