Sunday, 1 May 2011

Warning sign

25 years after Chernobyl, as Russia attempts to encase the site in a concrete dome, and as Japan starts out on the same problem in Fukushima, it's the first time I saw this from 1993: the Sandia National Laboratories discussion on how to warn future generations that a nuclear waste disposal area is a hazardous area. Thousands of years hence, any connection to language or knowledge of the storage facility's function may well have been lost, so how do you design warnings that cross language barriers, and hopefully indicate danger and don't pique an interest in archeologically opening up the facility. The report's compilers may not be designers, but the came up with a couple of suggestions which include the large "danger" marker stones surrounding the area, above – and could a designer do any better? What signs, what images, what architecture would convey that information across vast, culture-changing stretches of time?

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