23 August 2008

Italian virtual cemetery judged too cold

Be the first to share

Turin cemetery
More Italian news on how communications technologies are penetrating people’s daily lives, and sometimes create frictions:

The Italian newspaper La Stampa reports on plans for a virtual cemetery in Turin to commemorate those cremated, apparently developed without public consultation (my condensed translation):

The project is not yet implemented, but is already subject of debate. The high-tech cemetery is not liked. Virtual tombstones and monitors with the names of the deceased seem to be in contradiction with the wishes of those who chose for cremation and not leave their traces in the earth. So, technology and prayer still seem incompatible concepts.

The Turin municipality plans to provide family members with a place where they can gather to commemorate the deceased. As of 1 November, there will be three displays at the entrance of Turin’s main cemetery. Two of them contain the names of the over 4000 deceased, those who do not even have a small box that contains the urn with the ashes. The third monitor is reserved to the virtual tombstones: each visitor can access, with a personal code, the page with a photo of their dear one, their date of birth and death, and an epigraph. A tombstone in other words. Or better, an image of a tombstone.

The idea made some people smile, others however cringed at the thought.

Ines Poletto approaches one of the four (stone) cenotaphs, makes the sign of the cross, and says: “Who has chosen to be in here doesn’t want a photo or an epigraph. It may be difficult to accept for those who remain behind, but we need to respect the wishes of those who are no longer with us.” Carla Costa, 52, whose father also preferred the cremation, is of the same idea: “Those who made this decision did not want visibility. Why put their name and photo on a screen? It is not right to put them in a box now, even though it is a virtual one.”

Margherita Bertin reacts ironically: “I understand the importance of the computer, try to stay up-to-date, and know how to send emails, but this thing about the dead on the internet…” The use of new technologies in this context doesn’t even convince the younger generation. Claudia Cicirelli, 28, thinks the idea of the municipality is “crazy”, because “connecting the memory of the deceased with technology cancels the emotional side of the loss.” A clear no also from Laura Garolla: “This is buffoonery. They are now also making a business out of the dead. If I want to see a photo of my father, I can always do so in a family photo album. I don’t like the idea of seeing his photo on a screen at the cemetery.”

Be the first to share
19 January 2017
Anthropologist Sally Applin on the automation of qualitative methods
Anthropology and its methodologies cannot easily be automated. However, both design and engineering based organizations are attempting it. Anthropologist Sally A. Applin argues that this is based in part on historic legacy systems, a misunderstanding …
19 January 2017
Don Norman on what Apple, Google and Tesla get wrong
Don Norman is a technological optimist. The author of The Design of Everyday Things and head of UC San Diego's Design Lab believes that artificial intelligence might only take the worst parts of our jobs, …
23 December 2016
ING DIRECT’s sponsored content in The Guardian on the value of CX and human-centred design
ING DIRECT Australia has published yesterday and at the end of November no less than 10 articles in a paid section of The Guardian on the value of customer experience and human-centred design, entitled "Being …
23 December 2016
Innovative PhD dissertations at Harvard use ethnographic methods to understand organizational culture
Three innovative PhD dissertations have been published at the Harvard Business School's Doctoral Program on Organizational Behavior that use ethnography and qualitative research to understand and map organizational culture: Curtis K. Chan Chan’s research (The Double-Edged Sword …
19 December 2016
Australia’s Digital Ethnography Research Centre on experiencing the digital in everyday life
The Digital Ethnography Research Centre (DERC), part of RMIT University, focuses on understanding a contemporary world where digital and mobile technologies are increasingly inextricable from the environments and relationships in which everyday life plays out. …
18 December 2016
Why UX research is business research
Libby Maurer, UX leader at Widen Enterprise (a content technology company specializing in digital asset management software and content production services), makes a strong case for the value of UX research in a hardcore business …
14 December 2016
Experience design and Big Data at BBVA bank
Over the last 6 months, Fabien Girardin has been working in a rather unique position at BBVA Data & Analytics, a center of excellence in financial data analysis. My job is to make the design …
19 November 2016
A conversation with Dan Ariely about what shapes our motivations
A professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University, Dan Ariely relentlessly examines our assumptions about ourselves—and finds they’re often totally misconstrued. We think, for example, that money is our main motivator in the …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

12 January 2017
Experientia’s CITYOPT project awarded prestigious French award for its sustainable development design

Following the 2016 Smart Innovation Award at “FIMBACTE Trophées du Cadre de vie”, the CITYOPT project has once again been recognized, this time in the prestigious French design competition: “Observeur du Design 2017”, in the Service Design category. In June 2016, CITYOPT won the first stage of the Observeur du Design. Now the project has […]

1 December 2016
More on upcoming conference on design & sustainable innovation for smart cities

Last month Putting People First announced the upcoming conference on design & sustainable innovation for smart cities in Nice France. Meanwhile we are pleased to announce the full event agenda (see below). This event will feature professionals from leading research institutes and industry gathering to present key initiatives which combine Energy Efficiency and Service Design […]

29 October 2016
Upcoming conference on design & sustainable innovation for smart cities

Invitation to the International Conference on Design & Sustainable Innovation for SmartCities Nice (France) 8 December 2016 On the 8th December 2016, the CITYOPT project will host an international conference on Design and sustainable innovation for SmartCities, at the Centre Universitaire Méditerranéen, France. An open invitation to attend is offered to people and organisations who […]

28 October 2016
Experientia’s President, Michele Visciòla, panel judge for MacArthur Foundation’s “100&Change” competition

The 100&Change is an international competition and a landmark opportunity for thinkers and designers to tackle critical challenges affecting the world. Michele Visciòla will be one of the panel of expert judges who will select which project is worthy of the $100 million grant. 100&Change is the MacArthur Foundation competition – launched this year for […]

5 September 2016
Great engine, but the fuel seems poor. Discussing insight development in corporate marketing

The September issue of the Harvard Business Review (HBR) contains a lengthy essay, entitled Building an Insights Engine, on how Unilever has created the organizational capabilities to “transform data into insights about consumers’ motivations and to turn those insights into strategy.” The article was written by Frank van den Driest and Keith Weed of a […]

29 August 2016
Experientia discussing ethnography and patient-centricity at EPIC 2016

This week Experientia joins our colleagues and peers in Minneapolis at EPIC 2016, the premier international gathering on ethnography and design in industry. The theme for the conference this year is Pathmaking, emphasizing the power of ethnography to create transformative innovation, growth and strategic success for companies, industries and communities. On the second day of […]

See all articles