AZURE magazine

The product design world is in the midst of a revolution. Azures May issue discovers the makers and manufacturers leading the charge. My burial project Tactile Perception is also shown! Thanks for publishing my work!

"There has been a noticeable rise in designers exploring alternative ways to express death and grieving. Lisa Merk of Germany, for one, presented Tactile Perception Urns at the Stockholm Furniture Fair this year. The pebble-shaped vessels can be filled with ashes and held onto for emotional comfort. Mourners can either keep the mini-urns or return them for burial. Made from untreated wood, they will naturally decompose once buried, making them a sustainable alternative to common burial habits."

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Through Objects featuring Tactile Perception

The Blog Through Objects featured my project Tactile Perception. 

«We live in a time where there is a great need for renewal of our burial-traditions and religious values in terms of funerals.»   This concept is a suggestion to change our burial habits, specifically cremation, into a biodegradable system.


FORM Magazine has featured my project inter|section

Design and Grief Although death is an inescapable part of life

that we must all face sooner or later, whether on account

of our own mortality or through the loss of friends and family

members, as a topic it is still a large taboo. Procedures and

ceremonies in many cases rest on rigid, centuries-old traditions

and leave little room for a more modern and more individual

approach to leave-taking and mourning. The following projects,

however, signal a change: designers, it seems, are now embracing

this aspect of life and are using their capacity for empathy

to facilitate the process of mourning and to initiate a

proactive engagement with this difficult theme.


Tactile Perception part of TRÄ ART exhibition at CultureStreet – Kulturgatan

Sommaren 2017 sees a host of different activities at CultureStreet – Kulturgatan. Exhibition will take place from 7.6.- 15.09.2017.

Visit WOOD ART, an exhibition filling the Warehouse ground floor with wide-ranging contemporary design based on wood. A special opportunity to view recent design and workmanship with an international flavour from industries, artisans and established designers, along with the latest from design and craft schools. Furniture, product design, woodcraft, carpentry, interior design, art. Right next to the exhibition in the same building is the design shop with a selection of unique products complementing the exhibition.

Walk along Kulturgatan and pop into the Villa Svea art show Samverk, see the Intarsia Workshop in action, stay at Green House Bed & Breakfast, enjoy the recently opened Bakery and refreshments at the Café Röda cottage. Kulturgatan, located in southern Sweden, is a cultural project run as a commercial enterprise. A unique part of the Småland industrial environment has been reinvigorated ready for new narratives and experiences.

Stiftelsen Lehmanns Verkstad i Bodafors |

Tactile Perception featured in Korean Magazine METATREND

Tactile Perception has been featured in the Korean Trend Magazine METATREND. The magazine publishes monthly user experience trends. The full article about Tactile Perception can be found in Vol.88 (April 2017).


Elle Decor Italy featured our Exhibition "SPEKTRUM"

"The super-Nordic Lund University School of Industrial Design, Sweden, brings to the FuoriSalone a light design project. Spektrum, a collection of geometric, minimalistic lamps focusing on the transformability and mobility of objects."

Luminaire "Lightsome" will be part of the Exhibition SPEKTRUM at Furniture Fair in Milan. 

SPEKTRUM is a selection of light concepts, developed in two separate second semester MA courses with distinctive approaches:

Living & Behaviour LIGHT project, co-supervised by Guest Professor Stefan Diez / DIEZ OFFICE and Leif Huff / IDEO
Spring 2017


Form & Technology LED project
Spring 2016


All projects will be shown in MILAN 4-9 APRIL 2017.
Ventura Lambrate / Via Privata Oslavia 1
Mezzanines of Camper 2 & 3


Dezeen featuring my project Tactile Perception

Read the whole article here.

Lund University student Lisa Merk has designed a series of small urns that can be held during funeral ceremonies to reduce the anxieties of bereavement.

Exhibited at this years Stockholm Furniture Fair, the Tactile Perception urns are an attempt to reimagine contemporary burial rites.

Merk's wooden pebble-shaped urns, filled with the ashes of the deceased, provide relatives and friends with comfort during the service. Afterwards, they have the option to keep the urn for ongoing consolation, or return it to a larger urn for burial.

Made from untreated ash, beech and walnut, the smooth urns are designed to fit in the palm of the user's hand, in a similar way to anxiety-easing worry stones.

"I had the vision that such a soft, hand-sized mini-urn with a symbolic part of ashes inside could serve as a substitute for the deceased person," Merk told Dezeen.

"Since funerals are very emotional and stressful events I wanted to provide something for the mourners that they could hold onto or even share their sadness with, at least for the moment of the service."

Once the smaller urns have been filled with ashes, they are designed to not be opened again.

Tactile Perception is one of 24 projects from Lund University exhibited in the Greenhouse young designers section of the Stockholm Furniture Fair. The industrial design masters students were given the brief to explore the origin of modern-day products and their environmental impact.

As well as changing our burial habits, Merk's design attempts to be a sustainable alternative to funeral rituals.

As the urns are made from untreated wood, they will readily decompose if relatives and friends choose to bury the urn.

"The main aim is to show a concept that deals with making funerals healthier for our planet," said Merk. "I did research on conventional funeral methods and processes. Here I found some inconsistencies in terms of environmental friendliness of coffins and urns as well as the passiveness of the relatives."

"I want to show that rethinking in the burial sector is possible," she added.

First Essay published - Provocative Products: Provotypes and Provoprops

MA Design Studies Students Self-publish Provocative Products: Provotypes and Provoprops

Alongside the exhibition by the same same, Otto von Busch and a of group students in the MA Design Studies program published a text companion to “Provocative Products,” which exhibited during Parsons Festival taking place within NYCxDesign 2016.

Provocative Products: Provotypes and Provoprops is a collection of final papers produced in tandem with objects meant to provoke action or thought surrounding Earth Day. Interspersed between the texts are comparative cases of historical “provoprops” such as Martin Luther’s hammer, “raw” milk co-ops, and John McConnell’s Earth Flag. 

The class offered design writers and theorists the opportunity to pair up with practitioners to create objects that provoke new possibilities and modes of thinking among consumers. For example, what if humans neglected Earth to the point of forced recolonization? A series of postcards designed by Lisa Merk and Ari Elefterin titled “How Sad Life Would Be on Mars: A Tribute to Earthling Nostalgia” almost romanticizes natural and man-made design found on Earth and forces the consumer of this object to envision a future where this nostalgia becomes a reality of longing.

“Permanently colonizing Mars means we must contemplate the emotional loss we will collectively feel once we no longer experience earthly materiality. These postcards are for communication between Earthlings and our Martian explorers as links between the old world and the new, and as reminders of the majesty and rarity of our blue planet,” the authors write in the book.

The book closes with an essay by von Busch, explaining provocation in terms of tactics, violent disruptions, and strategic goals that rely on interaction rather than isolation. The objects in this book are tools of disruption that when used creatively and thoughtfully do more than just their basic function—they transgress, they challenge, and they have the possibility of enacting emotion within the consumer, who is just as much of a designer when prompted.

Click here for a full version of the publication.

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Exhibition at NYCxDESIGN

Otto von Busch taught a graduate-level course appropriately titled "Provocative Products" at Parsons (spring 2016 semester). The course was a collaboration between the MFA Industrial Design and MA Design Studies programs that brought students from both disciplines together to work on a series of “provotypes” and “provoprops” that were exhibited as part of the Parsons Festival taking place during NYCxDesign 2016. Historical examples of provocation in design as well as the students’ own projects are on view at the exhibition “Impact!” at the South Street Seaport from May 9 to June 10, 2016.