Nuclear Sitdown

The designers of this project were curious to investigate the public perception of the nuclear industry and nuclear waste. The topic is undoubtly tainted with ethical questions and moral dilemmas. Can dilemma-driven design help to expose these dilemmas and stimulate an informed public debate on such a controversial topic?

In collaboration with Dutch radioactive waste management facility COVRA, two design students (Studio Plannenmannen) created Nuclear Sitdown. This concrete couch is made out of barrels that used to store nuclear waste and are no longer radioactive (and thus obsolete). When interacting with the object, people experience a range of emotions from fear to fascination. This experience triggers questions and stimualtes discussion and debate on the nature of nuclear waste and what makes nuclear technologies (un)acceptable as an energy source.


Nuclear Sitdown is designed by David Claassen and Sem Lootsma as part of their MSc graduation project at the University of Twente. I supervised David Claassen's project, which was collaboratively carried out with Covra. Nuclear Sitdown was featured at Dutch Design Week 2019

Other cases

Responsible DesignProject type

Not in my backyard!dilemmas for human-centered design

Teatime dilemmasProject type

Nuclear SitdownProject type

Design with Dilemmas
Değer Özkaramanlı
Delft University of Technology
The Netherlands


© 2023   All rights reserved.