Reimagining the death experience - in order to live life more fully

What if facing death allowed us to live life more fully? Built around this central, ADG collaborated on a 2-hour experience inspired by OpenIDEO’s design challenge to re-imagine dying.


How do we re-imagine Death, in order to live our life more fully? With this central question, the Reimagine festival came to life. 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 ____ 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.

Participants were given the opportunity to explore death through a creative philosophical experience

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.