Future Proofing Design for Nuclear Waste

Mar 11, 2022

4:00pm – 5:00pm CT

Nuclear semiotics (an interdisciplinary field that deals with long-time nuclear waste warning messages) shows how important, exciting, and mind-bendingly complex it is to design for the future.

This talk takes future-proof design to the extreme: how do we design something that will last for millennia, when the alternative is the end of the human race?

Our nuclear waste will outlast us and will still be lethal to our distant descendants. Languages go extinct, and humans are tempted by secrets and puzzles. So how do we design a warning sign that will stand the test of time?

Cue a whirlwind tour of the grimly imaginative world of nuclear semiotics, where cats tell you you’re about to die, religion gets a radioactive update, and the end goal is the ultimate skull-and-crossbones sign.

Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.

photo of Anne Van De Wijdeven
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