Design for Good: Mine Kafon—A Low-Cost Landmine Detonator

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January 7, 2013
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Design for Good: Mine Kafon—A Low-Cost Landmine Detonator

As a boy Massoud Hassani and his brother crafted clever toys to race in the Kabul desert. The wind-powered creations would roll along the dusty earth and too often into the landmine area where they were lost—their race ended prematurely. You could say the same about the thousands who lose their lives or limbs every year because of abandoned landmines.

Because of the dangers of his childhood home, his mother moved the family when Massoud was 15 and eventually settled in Holland. There he learned he could design products for a living and began researching design ideas that would bridge the two cultures in his life. The result: Mine Kafon—a product design that could truly change lives.

In Massoud's native Afghanistan, "about 1 million Afghans live within 500 meters of areas expected to contain landmines. And, on average, landmines claim about 42 lives every month." Worldwide, landmines kill 15,000 to 20,000 people each year... and severely maim countless more in 78 countries.

Using existing procedures, clearing a single landmine rings in at an estimated cost of $1,200. Mine Kafon hopes to clear multiple mines in one pass at a total cost of £40 for materials—that's about $65 and 5.5% the traditonal cost. Its low-cost plastic and bamboo pieces are heavy enough to detonate an anti-personnel mine and light enough to be propelled by the desert winds.

Mine Kafon is design that is actually saving lives. Amidst all the superficial things we're surrounded with and tempted by, this project is actually combatting evil.
Mine Kafon is design that is actually saving lives. Amidst all the superficial things we're surrounded with and tempted by, this project is actually combatting evil.
Mine Kafon is design that is actually saving lives. Amidst all the superficial things we're surrounded with and tempted by, this project is actually combatting evil.
Mine Kafon is design that is actually saving lives. Amidst all the superficial things we're surrounded with and tempted by, this project is actually combatting evil.
Mine Kafon is design that is actually saving lives. Amidst all the superficial things we're surrounded with and tempted by, this project is actually combatting evil.
Mine Kafon is design that is actually saving lives. Amidst all the superficial things we're surrounded with and tempted by, this project is actually combatting evil.

Massoud's Kickstarter goal for the project is £100,000, enough to explore and implement design changes and suggestions and cover the costs of engineering, mold production, fabrication and GPS development.

Breaking down the numbers, Massoud puts it simply: 1 Less Land Mine = 1 Saved Life

Today: Kickstarter Campaign = 9 Days Left at £89,487 of 100,000.


Because Kickstarter has become a hub for ideation and production, too often it's viewed as a marketplace with a 1-to-1 exchange. But this project exemplifies the positive impact platforms like Kickstarter help progress—though backers aren't receiving products per-se, they contribute to a design for the betterment of man.

If you'd like to support the project, visit the Mine Kafon Kickstarter page. Aside from the Karma points and feelings of do-goodiness, there are some very cool rewards, including iPhone covers, wind-powered toys, scale models and hanging lamps made from Mine Kafon feet.

Mine Kafon is design that is actually saving lives. Amidst all the superficial things we're surrounded with and tempted by, this project is actually combatting evil.

Mine Kafon is design that is actually saving lives. Amidst all the superficial things we're surrounded with and tempted by, this project is actually combatting evil.

Some other hand-picked posts you might enjoy on our Design Blog:

Little Piggy: Design for Good
Blood + Sweat + Chemo: Artcrank Poster Design
Eyes that Tell Stories: Unique Iris Portraits

Stephen Olmstead

Stephen Olmstead

Hey there, I'm Stephen. I'm an interaction designer at Drawbackwards who's passionate about minimalistic user interfaces and intuitive user experiences. I'm an outspoken tech gadget enthusiast, listener of epic movie soundtracks, and dedicated husband and father. Drop me a line on twitter @TheOlmstead, I love chatting with my peers!

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User Experience Design Lead / Minneapolis, MN, US

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