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.