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University of the Free State

NICKI VOLLMER

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Entitled ‘The Last Sacrifice’, Vollmer’s project is an investigation of the complexity of the Hindu religion and its beliefs towards death and our existence on earth and beyond. It is a project that explores the themes of time, cycle and ritual embodied within the Hindu religion in order to influence the creation of a contemporary cremation infrastructure.

The lack of available burial ground in South Africa emphasises the need for alternative burial methods. Due to Vollner’s personal interest in the Hindu religion, she opted to focus her thesis on Hindu cremation traditions so as to encourage the public to consider cremation as a meaningful and honourable burial method.

Vollmer was inspired when she noticed that architecture has the ability to directly influence the way individuals interpret and respond to their surroundings. “It made me realise that design has a greater influence on human behaviour than purely aesthetic values. The greater meaning of architecture is what triggered my initial interest in this field.”