Reimagining the death experience, together

What if facing our death allowed us to live fully? Focused on this central question, ADG helped create an immersive experience inspired by OpenIDEO's global Challenge to reimagine death.


Reimagine was initially prototyped in 2016, inspired by OpenIDEO’s End of Life Challenge as part of an effort to investigate the intersection of art, community, and end of life. With the vision to create a world in which “we are all able to
reflect on why we’re here, prepare for a time when we won’t be, and live fully through the end. In facing death, we begin to live fully.”

With this central question, ADG partnered with Scott Shigeoka, a Community Lead at OpenIDEO; Melinda Lauw, an acclaimed experience designer, and Roxy Shohadaee to lead members of the public through an experiential philosophical journey about death and life. As a headline event at the Re-Imagine Festival, the experience would be open to the public and would be
shared across the San Francisco Bay Region.

Design Challenge

Death is often a taboo topic for many. How could we design an experience that would allow people to confront this question in a meaningful and personal way? And with 400+ participants expected to go through our 2-hour experience over a 3-day period during the festival, how could we develop an in-person experience that could be scaled while also being personalized.

In order to solve this issue, we created an experience of four rooms that become more personalized with each room. We collected a pre-experience form from all participants that
asked generic but personal information from everyone. By the time participants got to the final room, their eulogy had been written for them using the information we had gathered. Paired
off, participants were read their eulogy by their partner and which launched an intimate conversation and an opportunity to reflect and write a letter to themselves.


The project was recognized by Fast Company, and Reimagine was included as an Honorable Mention for Fast Company’s 2019 World Changing Ideas. The event was also featured in Variety, TimeOut, the SF Chronicle, and other media outlets.