Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Good Grief,

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posted on 2022-07-31, 22:40 authored by Duncan, Morgan

The rejection of a formal grieving process has become common in contemporary western society. The subject of death is mainly feared and considered a taboo subject. Death is now hidden, removed from the communal and restricted to the realm of the private. Grief and death, concepts which were previously an accepted part of existence. Now, society’s fear of death leaves the bereaved with inadequate methods of managing emotions associated with loss. Society’s death anxiety stems from a fear of permanent disconnection from our world, this disconnection is forced upon us by the inevitability of our bodies failing and the extinction of individual consciousness. The only comfort provided to the living is the memorialisation of the dead, that it is possible to continue existing through memory. Architecture, can act as a reflection of the social and cultural conditions of the time. It is this ideal that has created a need to upgrade the memory by creating a bond between space and memory.

The subject of this thesis aims to address the social stigma of death in western society through the built environment. The concept of grief and bereavement has all but disappeared however remains present through the weight of memory on both individuals and society as a collective. This research explores specific architectural ideologies needed to assist the grieving process extending beyond the initial funeral service and addressing grief as a journey. Considerate architecture harnesses the power to be exponentially beneficial to our mental health. Through the combination of psychotherapeutic methods and traditional architecture, spaces can develop a sympathetic atmosphere that can best address the emotional and sensory needs of those who are suffering from the loss of a loved one.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Architecture (Professional)

ANZSRC Socio-Economic Outcome code

929999 Health not elsewhere classified; 959999 Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified; 930499 School/Institution not elsewhere classified; 970112 Expanding Knowledge in Built Environment and Design

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

Wellington School of Architecture


Campays, Philippe