I’d like to make a prediction here & now, in early April 2012, for next year’s Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. I think that the Oscar for Best Costume Design next year (2013) will be award (post-humously) to Japanese designer, Eiko Ishioka, for her costume design on the latest iteration of the Snow White fable, “Mirror, Mirror”.
The movie is currently in theaters.
This was Ishioka’s final film. Yes, Japan’s most acclaimed designer died January 12th. She did her last film for Disney. And upon seeing the work, it seemed not only did Disney spare Ishioka no expense, but it also seemed that Ishioka apparently worked very well with the Production Designer, Tom Foden, and Supervising Art Directors, Ramsey Avery & Isabelle Guay. At so many points the costuming in the film blends seemlessly into the fabric of the sets and into the fabric of the film itself. The film is woven together so artfully…
This is a work of great craft and skill.
And I recommend you see the film for yourself — ON A BIG SCREEN — as the movie was intended.
Kudos to the production team!
Planting landmines is easy and cheap, but the costs (both human and financial) of finding and removing them later can be vast. One possible solution, proposed by Afghan design graduate Massoun Hassadi, is the Mine Kafon. It’s a concept for a wind-powered minesweeper, or an artificial tumbleweed that can — through the serendipity of the wind’s random gusts — clear a blight from the land that kills and maims hundreds each year.
The Mine Kafon looks a bit like a bunch of plungers attached to a central ball. It’s light enough (70kg) to be propelled by a normal breeze, while still being heavy and big enough (190cm in diameter) to activate mines as it rolls over them. When released by its owner, the Kafon will roll around wherever the wind takes it, tracing a path through the sand and able to survive the loss of many of its legs in several explosions before it loses structural integrity.
Wired.co.uk spoke to over the phone to Hassadi in Eindhoven, where he lives after graduating from the city’s Design Academy. The Mine Kafon was his final graduate project, but it’s deeply inspired by his childhood — he grew up on the outskirts of Kabul, in a community where landmine deaths and injuries are common. There are usually hundreds of landmine deaths a year in Afghanistan, thanks to the country’s sad history of conflict over the past few decades.
The Kafon idea came about as part of some “sketches” Hassadi did around the themes of elements — “air, water, fire, the basic elements”, he explains. “I was trying to integrate these, in a physical way. And I also did a project about my childhood in Kabul, where I would make all kinds of things.” Some of those things, as you can see in the video embedded in this story, were toys powered by the wind.
Combining the two ideas led to “12 or 13 toys, or prototypes — one was a helicopter, and another was a sail-powered model”. He spent a couple of months tinkering with designs — and finishing his design internship — before he settled on the current tumbleweed-esque design for the Kafon. Hassadi said: “I worked it up for my final project, and proposed new features and ideas, and we realised that the most interesting was the one that was moved by the wind. It was more personalised, like the toys that we played with in Kabul, outside the house. I was just playing around, and I said ‘maybe I can make one bigger’, as a kind of joke to my tutor, and they said ‘why not?’”
Now that Hassadi has finished his degree he has time to work on the Kafon in earnest. The basic shape and idea is almost there for the first prototype — it has light, strong legs, with feet at the end, and in the middle is a GPS chip. As the Kafon meanders along it transmits data about its journey back to the user. That should allow the plotting of routes through minefields that are safe.
The kinetic sculptures of Dutch artist, Theo Jansen.