In an impressive way to take a last journey to cease existence, Julijonas Urbonas embarks us on a roller coaster which provokes a lack of oxygen supply to the brain, by riding at a maximal speed of 100 m/s. For those who decide to stop living under unbearable pain, this assisted dérive can teleport them into a gratifying last emotion far away from a conventional gloomy hospital:
“Euthanasia Coaster” is a hypothetic euthanasia machine in the form of a roller coaster, engineered to humanely – with elegance and euphoria – take the life of a human being. Riding the coaster’s track, the rider is subjected to a series of intensive motion elements that induce various unique experiences: from euphoria to thrill, and from tunnel vision to loss of consciousness, and, eventually, death. Thanks to the marriage of the advanced cross-disciplinary research in space medicine, mechanical engineering, material technologies and, of course, gravity, the fatal journey is made pleasing, elegant and meaningful. Celebrating the limits of the human body but also the liberation from the horizontal life, this ‘kinetic sculpture’ is in fact the ultimate roller coaster…”
Developed at the Design Interactions Research Department of the RCA London – which focuses on exploring interactions between people, science and technology – Urbonas’ device also matches the aim of the department of going beyond simply making technology sexy, easy to use and more consumable; instead, they rather focus on using the language of design to pose questions, inspire, and provoke — to transport our imaginations into parallel but possible worlds.
[all images>Julijonas Urbonas, Euthanasia Coaster, 2010]