Applied arts award: A coffin is the winner

One of the winners of this year's applied arts awards in Switzerland has invented what could be described as the last thing in design: An environment-friendly coffin.

This content was published on December 17, 1999 - 17:17

One of the winners of this year's applied arts awards in Switzerland has invented what could be described as the last thing in design. It is an environment-friendly coffin which, if Thomas Schaad gets the financial backing he needs, will land him with the dead end job he wants.

What the jury looks for in this annual competition open to young Swiss artists is, among other things, creativity. That is something which Thomas Schaad clearly has in abundance: "The coffin is a very special product for me. It's the last product we need. I tried to make a coffin which was more poetic and not just a box."

The coffin is white with smooth edges. Schaad impressed the jury with his ecological method of designing it. He used pulverised almond shells which, when buried in the earth, will eventually self-destruct. On its top is a glass stone engraved with the name of the deceased.

As one of 60 award-winners, Schaad receives SFr 20,000 ($12,738) from the Swiss Federal Culture Office, which organises the competition.

From staff member Richard Dawson.

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