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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2011

Designing a Memorial Place

Petersson, Anna; Wingren, Carola;


The design and selection of a memorial stone and the site of the grave, both of which represent the deceased, can be a central issue for people bereaved by traffic accidents. This was revealed in an interview survey of recent Swedish roadside memorials and other memorial places. In this article we consider the design and selection of the memorial stone and gravesite as expressions of continuing care for the deceased and as a way to offer comfort to the bereaved. Materiality, representation and presence will be discussed as crucial parts of the link between the living and the dead. Communicative, spatial and physical values are important also in the professional's design of common public memorial places. Of specific interest for this text are two design practice-based terms, memory object and passage landscape, which may be used by landscape architects when designing memorial places, such as cemeteries and public monuments. Throughout this text, we argue that memorial places like these are capable of bridging the gap between the space of life and the space of death, as well as supporting the regeneration of present memories and the construction of future ones.


continuing care; memorialisation; design; presence; place; passage lands

Published in


2011, volume: 16, number: 1, pages: 54-69

Authors' information

Petersson, Anna
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Landskapsarkitektur

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG3 Good health and wellbeing

UKÄ Subject classification


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