As a child in Qasaba, a village between Kabul and Jalalabad in wartorn Afghanistan, Hassani made toys out of whatever materials he could find. Among his favorites were rolling objects powered by the wind, which he raced with other children. Often their toys would be blown into minefields, where they could not be retrieved. Many friends of Hassani’s were injured or killed by landmines, and while in design school in the Netherlands, Hassani remembered them by making those toys all over again—only much bigger, heavier, and stronger, and designed to be intentionally released onto minefields. Easy to transport and assemble onsite, Mine Kafon (kafon means “explosion” in Dari) is designed to roll over land, a GPS chip recording the safe path. If it were to detonate a mine, the object would partly destruct, but its bamboo and biodegradable plastic parts could be salvaged and reassembled into another Mine Kafon, ready for deployment. Once an industrial scale of production is achieved, a Mine Kafon could cost as little as forty dollars to produce, whereas current demining methods and materials can cost as much as a thousand dollars per mine. Hassani has been testing Mine Kafon with the Dutch army.
Gallery label from Applied Design, March 2, 2013–January 31, 2014.