3D argonauts in search of meaning

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Resting Reef is a project that objectively stands out among the others in our portfolio. Its essence is deep one might say bottomless like the Pacific Ocean.

Wandering through the meanings bestowed upon it by its founders Louise Skajem and Aura Murillo, we embarked on a challenging journey in search of treasure. Along the uncharted path, we faced “dangers” and encountered obstacles with the main one being the thought of death. Thanks to the graduates of the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London we not only reconsidered our relationship with death but also attempted to convey it through our visualizations.

These images are not just marketing products. They are in a way sincere consolation for those who have experienced the loss of their loved ones. The value of The Resting Reef lies in exposing contemporary issues and fighting against them. Immersed in the work of creating renders Studio57 became part of an author’s idea that evolved into a significant collaborative endeavor. A resolute solution was found for both global and personal tragedies embodied in the hope of healing through rebirth. And that is definitely something more valuable than a golden rune.


Death as a source of new solutions

Death as a source of new solutions

People die every day. The results of their cremation contribute to shocking numbers of carbon dioxide filling the planet. It is measured in tons. With the “traditional” burial method the earth suffers from the clearing of hectares of forests used for cemetery construction. The embalming process involves the release of harmful chemicals (sodium salts and calcium phosphate), the high concentration of which causes soil burns. Some of these chemicals, such as mercury found in the fillings of the deceased do not decompose poisoning the surrounding environment.

Industrial and funeral service production industries are killing the earth. The irreversible process of total environmental pollution is underway. Another degree Celsius and the World Ocean will become record-warm. The marine ecosystem has already lost over half of its oyster reefs, which serve as “coastal guards” against flood-related disasters within a few decades. This could lead to a reduction in biodiversity, as oysters provide shelter for marine organisms (fish and algae). Clusters consisting of approximately a hundred “pearls” can purify around 7 million liters of water from CO2 per year filtering out heavy metals.


The fifth incarnation of the oyster

The fifth incarnation of the oyster

Some scientists predict realities that are not comforting. Others are not in a hurry to include the structures of the Great Barrier Reef in the “threatened” heritage lists because they see positive attitudes in the recovery of ecosystems. They see enthusiasts and altruists who are ready to care for the planet.

That’s exactly what Louise Skajem and Aura Murillo are. They are the owners of the Resting Reef project. The female designers see it as their mission to redefine traditional methods of commemorating loved ones while also saving oyster reefs from extinction.

They propose an interesting formula that underlies an artificially created memorial that can be submerged on the ocean floor. This will not only create a connection between ancestors and nature but also serve as a necessary measure for ecological restoration.

The “oyster capsule” structure consists of a reef made from a mixture of the deceased’s bone ash, crushed oyster shells and a low-carbon cement binder. This composite is 3D-printed in the form of organic-shaped mounds modeled after stromatolites – primitives from three billion years ago.

Interestingly, the bodies of the deceased are still subjected to cremation, but in a water-based way. In this method, their tissues dissolve in a steel chamber with potassium hydroxide, while the bones are dried and turned into ashes. This approach reduces the level of harmful emissions by 35% compared to traditional cremation.


The beginning of the journey

The beginning of the journey

Resting Reef emerged last year but has already been recognized with prestigious awards including a wooden pencil received as recognition for the best design project at the D&AD Awards 2023.

A year before the birth of the sustainable development startup supported by RCA the Terra Carta Design Lab was opened. Its creators were His Royal Highness Prince Charles III and Johnny Ive (former Chief Designer at Apple). The goal of the initiative is to attract talents from around the world (students or alumni of the Royal College of Art) from various development fields such as agriculture and forestry to healthcare and fashion.

The environmentally friendly funeral service Resting Reef presenting a unique solution to the climate crisis in the “ocean” category made it to the shortlist of 20 finalists of the Terra Carta Design Lab. The girls competed for £50,000, a fund allocated to each of the three winners. The money was intended for the future development of their creation, but other teams (The Tyre Collective, Studio Ayaskan and the startup Amphibio) took the podium. As a bonus, the latter can also count on mentorship and support from Johnny Ive and members of the Sustainable Markets Initiative global network.

The demonstration of the reef structures at the BioArt Laboratories exhibition, which took place in Eindhoven during Dutch Fashion Week became a new stage in their recognition. It is one of the largest and most significant events in Europe.


A mark left in history

A mark left in history

Someone lays terracotta on the ocean floor like kitchen tiles in an apartment and our Studio57 is ready to refute the theory of six degrees of separation, which has been fruitlessly worked on for over thirty years. To get acquainted with the director of the current design studio LoveFrom in San Francisco we only needed to collaborate with Louise Skajem and Aura Murillo. Indirectly, the contact book was also enriched by His Royal Highness Prince Charles III. But these are all jokes.

Now onto more serious matters. The visualizations created by our “3D-argonauts” for the Resting Reef project complement a unique story that has a tremendous impact on the whole world and those who live in it. Even on the ocean floor.

We have tried to reflect the diversity of corals to show the uniqueness of each human soul contained within them. We are glad to realize that 3D technologies live up to their name as a powerful tool of modernity. With their help the impossible becomes reality. Images that were once only in the mind and barely articulated with imprecise words take on real physical forms. They leave a lasting impression on memory. They become a source of inspiration. They remind us of the value of life even after death. We are proud to know how to use this “weapon” correctly. That is our contribution.




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