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Spring 2022 / Second year project

The Yuan Home Altar Set is a discursive
design concept that offers a innovative way
to remember loved ones.


Concept Inspiration 

Inspired from “Death in the City” by April Ng
(Arcade Journal Summer 2020, p.32-40)

After reading this article, and considering my cultural background, I began to think about the challenges of mourning in the city, where spaces for grief and memorialization are often limited or nonexistent.

Urban Background

4500 ~ 190,000 USD
920 ~ 3950 USD
15,300 USD
12,600 USD

The cost of cemetery plots and related expenses

Hong Kong Private Niche:
Hong Kong Public Niche:
Tokyo Burial Plot:
Osaka Burial Plot:

Hong Kong and Japan

In Japan, the cremation rate has been steadily rising since the 1960s and reached a record high of 99.97% in 2019.
In Hong Kong, the government has been promoting eco-friendly alternatives to traditional burial.

City Crosswalk


For people living in cities with high population density and aging populations who need to honor their deceased loved ones.


  • High prices for cemeteries in cites with high population density.

  • Difficult to maintain cemetery and honor loved ones due to the migration of future generations.

  • Commercial land uses have encroached on cemeteries and columbaria that were previously located outside the city limits.

  • Modern changes in the way people view life and death.

What if a home altar set could provide a sustainable and cost-effective alternative to traditional cemetery plots in densely populated cities like Hong Kong and Tokyo?
Why called it "Yuan"

渊 (yuān

swirling water

圆 (yuán

Circle, Perfection, Harmony

远 (yuǎn

永远 Forever

愿 (yuàn

Hope, wish

Idea of Reincarnation

In religion and philosophy, rebirth of the aspect of an individual that persists after bodily death - whether it be consciousness, mind, the soul, or some other entity - in one or more successive existences.

The name inspired from Chinese "Yuan" in four different tones


The intention to focus on emotional values and alleviate a mourner’s sense of loss and loneliness by incorporation the deceased’s ashes into the former’s daily life.

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