The Phoenix Project

2nd Year Project _ BA Architecture, Oxford Brookes - 2008

The Phoenix Project has developed as a new way to experience the wishes of a lost friend or family member.

The project allows users to interact with prized possessions left for them by the deceased, and may viewed as either a form of time capsule or physical will. The deceased involved will have been blended into the project prior to their passing away, and accumulated up to 7 capsules, each filled with a possession or message for an individual or group from various stages in their life. The final capsule to complete the collection of 8 will be filled with their ashes. Why the initial 7? The capsules are a collection of possessions from stages in the deceased’s life, based around Shakespeare’s 7 ages of man from the monologue in As You Like It. Having passed away, the staff at the Phoenix Project will contact the friends and family for who the possessions are left for, and they will begin their journey into discovering the mystery of what was left for them.


Shakespeare’s 7 ages of man from the monologue in As You Like It.

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players,
They have their exits and entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
Then, the whining schoolboy with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden, and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice
In fair round belly, with good capon lin’d,
With eyes severe, and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws, and modern instances,
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose, and pouch on side,
His youthful hose well sav’d, a world too wide,
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again towards childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.