Karla Rothstein is the founder and director of Columbia University’s DeathLAB, a cross-disciplinary research and design initiative housed at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) where she has taught design studios for 20 years.
At DeathLAB, Rothstein and co-Principal Investigator Kartik Chandran are developing an elegantly sustainable form of corpse disposition to augment urban public space and address the environmental and spatial pressures on existing cemeteries. A solo exhibition at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa Japan, entitled DeathLAB: Democratizing Death, features the lab’s research, design proposals, and interviews. It is on view through March 2019. Rothstein’s work at DeathLAB has been supported by MacDowell, Columbia’s Earth Institute, The Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life, The Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Art Omi, Kanazawa 21C, and Columbia GSAPP.
Rothstein is also a practicing architect, co-founder and design director at LATENT Productions in NYC. LATENT’s current building projects include 25 units of affordable housing in Brooklyn NY, remediation of brownfield conditions and the revivification of a nine-acre, 240,000 SF former cotton-spinning campus in the Berkshires, and a meandering private vertical urban oasis.