When the Barcelona-based design studio Estudi Moliné came up with a mortuary urn containing a seed with the potential to grow into a tree, the idea immediately resonated with many people around the world looking for an alternative to the traditional burial, whether for pets or humans. Celebrating the circle of life, the 100% biodegradable Bios Urn is a receptacle for the end of life, while at the same time providing the nourishment needed for a new life to start.
The two-part urn, made of coconut shell, compacted peat and cellulose, comes with an upper capsule for the seed, and a bottom section for the ashes. The seed can then germinate without being in contact with the highly acidic ashes. As the urn biodegrades, the seed roots grow strong enough to withstand the acidity and the entire set becomes part of the sub-soil.
Now, the same studio has launched a new crowdfunding effort on Kickstarter to raise the funding it needs for its newest development, the Bios Incube. Conceived as an incubator “designed for the afterlife,” as its designers describe it, the portable Incube is a stylish container in which the Bios urn can be planted—especially convenient for city dwellers without garden space, or for use in areas where the use of biodegradable urns for cremains is prohibited.
And more than just convenient, it’s also a “smart” solution: the Incube is equipped with enough modern technology that even those without green fingers or a love of plants will succeed. Users can choose the seed they want, or can opt to plant their own. The Bios Urn is then buried in the incubator. A sensor device attaches to the surface of the soil just over the urn, which is constantly being updated on the growth conditions and status of the seed or tree. The sensors in the Bios Incube assiduously track the conditions in the Bios Urn, measuring and monitoring the tree’s fertilizer needs via electrical conductivity readings, the levels of light exposure, moisture and temperature in the atmosphere and soil.
The WiFi chip in the Bios Incube ensures that this information is available at all times via an app on all mobile devices, allowing the progress and growth of the seed to be easily tracked.
The Incube even comes with an irrigation system that can hold up to three gallons of water and is designed to distribute water evenly around the seed, ensuring that the growth medium used maintains favorable water levels.
According to its makers, this “catalyst for life and growth” has a contemporary and minimal cool white design that fits any environment or space. Its rotational molded structure protects the Bios Urn with a two-layered body of polypropylene. The portable nature of the Incube also makes it possible if necessary to move the tree or take it along when moving house.
The Kickstarter campaign started just days ago. After just one day online, the campaign had already raised $24,000 of a $66,000 goal, with four weeks left to go. Depending on the amount contributed, backers can receive rewards varying from a T-shirt to a completely customized Bios Incube premium package. If all goes as planned, Early Bird investors can look forward to receiving their Bios Incubes in September. The first round of orders is planned to be shipped in November of this year.