Design studio Claesson Koivisto Rune completes “unusual assignment’ of urn

The Ocke Urn

Claesson Koivisto Rune design studio co-founder Marten Claesson made the following comment in this recent article from dezeen,This is an unusual assignment for us.  The funeral homes of Sweden are dominated by a few chains and Systrarna Ocklind is a very rare independent funeral home.. . . .(they) are daring to offer an alternative, also by introducing an urn that is so different to what anyone has seen before – and this in a trade where you don’t break with tradition easily.”

Koivisto Rune is talking about the Ocke urn that was commissioned for his studio.  The Ocke urn is  made of wool — a natural fiber that has been used to warm humans throughout history, with the unique ability to hold warmth both when dry and moist.  The studio used wool to “provide a sense of warmth and protection while reducing the products’ impact on the environment.”

The urn has been designed for use in Sweden where the article points out, “the ashes of the deceased are generally collected in a bag and delivered from the crematorium to the funeral home in a recycled cardboard box in accordance with tradition and regulation.  The cardboard box is then discarded before the ashes are transferred to an urn made from ceramic or wood, which is buried in the ground.”

He continues, “(he) designed the woollen Ocke urn to fit around this cardboard box like a “kind of shroud”“.

Funeral Director Daily take:  In my opinion the Ocke urn is a simplistic material made urn that may be of interest to many.  However, what really caught my eye about this article was a little extra research into the funeral firm that commissioned its design.

I don’t pretend to know a lot about Swedish funerals and funeral homes but the reality of two sisters starting their own funeral home in that country against what is, evidently, large chains was interesting to me.  I was fortunate to look up their website and use my translation tools of my computer to peruse the funeral home website of Systrarna Ocklind.  You can find it here.

Tom Anderson
Funeral Director Daily

The Systrarna Ocklind website maintains that they “do all types of funerals but are especially focused on civil ceremonies where we are also civil funeral directors, also called officiant.”

What hit me was the “niche” aspect of what they seem to be doing.  And, I think that there is a real trend that the more traditional funerals have become, the more apt there is to be change moving forward. . . as there is in North America over the past 20 years going from traditional services to cremation services, to direct cremations with lay officiants.

I think that the “individualism” of death care is a real trend around the world.  To stay relevant, death care firms need to be on top of their game and understand what once worked for all no longer does. . . . today’s death care choices are about individualism. . . and how a funeral/cremation/memorial company responds to that trend may very well determine their level of success in the future.

If Sweden is indeed served by large funeral homes, I think that Systrarna Ocklind will have a growing business moving forward as people look for more individuality.

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