Do your relatives know what kind of funeral you’d like to have? What type of gravestone
would you like to have placed on your final resting place? What shall the funeral ceremony look like? Do you know which music should be played and who shall give the eulogy?

Funeral arrangements are certainly not an on-the-top-of-my-head topic; still, it remains
an unavoidable and crucial issue to deal with. In fact, the wish in mankind for a graceful and adequate funeral originates in withstanding caducity and the everlasting fear of having vanished from the face of the earth one day – an engrafted and continuous feeling of threat in people.

Therefore, funeral arrangements and the handling of mortal remains stay an important issue
– not only for the deceased but also for the bereaved, because it’s their very last chance to pay the utmost respect to a beloved one. That is the moment, when wishes and believes of the deceased move into the center of attention:

The Ga-Adangbe tribe in Ghana for instance strongly believes that a person will move to another life when passed away. This conviction made them world-famous for the coffins they make – some even go as far and call them “fantasy coffins”. These coffins are symbolically shaped in interests or activities of the deceased – this way coffins turn into planes, shoes, beer bottles, cars, etc.

Certainly, the industry has picked up on that and started to offer products and services
particularly designed to individual expectations. In addition, socio-cultural tendencies and trends in society have important impacts on this development as well. One of these influential trends in funeral arrangements is customization.

What happens when merging the trend of customization with the incremental human withstanding to caducity?

The company called ‘That’s My Face’ takes this momentum to a whole new level: they use
the latest technologies in facial reconstruction, facial analysis, and methods in transforming 2D portraiture into 3D sculptures. From just a photo or two, mainly capturing people in their prime, customized urns in the shape of the head of the deceased are manufactured.

Morbid idea?

Well, some vendors like ‘Cremation Solutions’ call it “personalization has gone a bit too far”
or “creepy”, but still “fascinating to say the least”.

However, the casting of heads and busts have been around as memorials and pieces of art for
hundreds of years already and they rarely got called creepy, right?

Read more at:,

Armin Kreiner-Norkunas Profile image

Armin Kreiner-Norkunas


Armin led our department of innovation management until 2017.

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