About the Team

About The Team

The HappyUrns project was initiated to create innovative ways to overcome the taboo surrounding the topic of death and encourage everyone to have important open conversations with loved ones about end of life with a heart of celebration.

How It Began

HappyUrns started with the Residents’ Urn project, where 7 lovely residents of St. Joseph’s Home were engaged to create custom urn designs which were then produced with the help of pottery experts.

As we engaged on the Residents’ Urn project, the team was inspired to innovate ways we could bring the HappyUrns message to a wider audience. We decided to break away from the constraints of the urn to create different ways people could interact with the topic – thus, the Life in a Year Book and the Celebration Kit were born!

This project is made possible with the dedicated support and collaboration with Lien Foundation, Ang Chin Moh Foundation, and our many users who contributed their valuable time and insights to help build HappyUrns.


“Growing up, my brother and I visited our grandparents almost every Saturday. Grandma was a woman of little words but has a special skill of preparing dinner for a big family. As my brother and I got older, the visits were less frequent. Looking back, I would love to have a way/medium of communicating with Grandma, or a way to capture the memories we had with her… “


“I think the concept of death has always been a type of hyperobject to me. I would ponder the meaning of death and always end up right here in ‘right now’, but I would be too afraid to truly understand what that means to me and people I care about.

HappyUrns made me understand that ‘right now’ is always the perfect timing to celebrate someone you love or perhaps even yourself. It’s never too late and never too early.”


“One very special element of the HappyUrns project for me was to give the people we reached out to an opportunity and safe space to talk about their personal views on mortality and celebrating life. Hearing them pause, be emotional, and be very real impacted me immensely, and over time I realised it was really me who had the privilege to have these rare conversations. My beliefs regarding end-of-life completely changed during this process.”


“HappyUrns helps me reflect on how short our life is and all the things we have now in this world is just temporary. I hope I could treasure the people around me more, and use my life to bring goodness to them.”


“HappyUrns is the bridge between my ageing parents and my young son. The Life in a Year Book and Celebration Kit will help facilitate memories and moments to be captured that will tie us all together and endure forever.”


Special thanks to Sabrina, Amanda, Weihua and Justin for making this project possible.



with Us!

Design Innovation Singapore (DI@SG) serves as the core service arm at DesignZ SUTD with the mission to drive strategic design transformation in Singapore through collaborations with industry partners.

Anchored by extensive research in design science, technological expertise, and the ethos of a human-centered design approach, the DI team specializes in identifying impactful opportunities and crafting innovative, applicable, and viable solutions to real-world wicked problems.

We offer an extensive range of services including design research and consulting product service and system development, design innovation curriculum and engagement, and other design-related services.

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