Lewisham: A lounge to encourage conversations about death


Lewishman shopping center in London has created a Departure Lounge. The lounge has nothing to do with departure lounges at the airports, this area centers around a different kind of departure. It encourages conversations about life’s journey. The lounge set is designed in the theme of a travel agency, insinuating life’s after travels. Through this project the creators wish to alleviate the taboos surrounding death.

The lounge provides users a relaxing environment where they can discuss matters related to death. The place also intends to help people deal with the problem of death affecting close relatives, in addition to contemplate upon the journey that lies ahead in life. The lounge holds suitcases, for instance, with a scientific piece of information attached on the security tags. “Having end-of-life wishes formally recorded can make a positive difference to the dying person having the ‘good death’ they want…” says one of the messages on the suitcase. The lounge collection also displays information about different types of end of life care.

The lounge is hoping to mollify the morbid issues surrounding death. “Dying is not a medical thing, it’s a human thing,” says another caption from the lounge. The lounge hopes that people can come to the place and can release stress and prejudices associated with the theme of death. The Departure Lounge is a project designed by experts from the Academy of Medical Sciences, their sole aim is to make death a more acceptable topic of conversation. Previously the area was taken by a mobile phone shop, and now it has been developed to jump-start conversation about the inevitable life journey.

The lounge has drawn mixed reviews from shoppers. While some were perplexed on finding death related messages on suitcases, the lounge left others inspired to draw a death plan and make legal documents about their death.