What do sex parties, funerals, and wilderness trips have in common? More than you might think.

Patterns of Transformation: Designing Sex, Death, and Survival in the 21st Century is a design reference for creating intimate social gatherings that offer the potential for human enrichment and transformation. It is grounded in lessons from sex parties, funerals, and wilderness trips, and informed by research on the anthropology of ritual, positive psychology, and game studies.

Patterns of Transformation has been taught at The Carnegie Mellon School of Art, Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, among others.

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Illustrations by Lilli Carré. Crematory photo by Daniel Shea.