Want to enjoy the ride of your life along with the last ride of your life? That’s what Julijonas Urbonas envisions with his Euthanasia Coaster.
The three-minute ride involves a long, slow, climb – nearly a third of a mile long – that lifts one up to a height of more than 1,600 feet, followed by a massive fall and seven strategically sized and placed loops. The final descent and series of loops take all of one minute. But the gravitational force – 10 Gs – from the spinning loops at 223 miles per hour in that single minute is lethal.
Urbonas, who once worked at an amusement park in his native Lithuania, is a PhD candidate in London’s Royal College of Art’s Design Interactions department. He considers this research in “Gravitational Aesthetics.”
That’s because Euthanasia Coaster isn’t simply meant to be about death. Urbonas sees it as both an intellectual and artful departure from the world, one that isn’t about the paperwork and medical issues of the current euthanasia system. The few places where voluntary euthanasia is legal include: Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the U.S. states of Oregon and Washington.
“There is no special ritual, nor is death given special meaning except that of the legal procedures and psychological preparation. It is like death is divorced from our cultural life…” Urbonas writes. “…But if it is already legal, why not to make it more meaningful?”