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Using Design to Remove Landmines

Aresa plantI do not want to turn this blog into a promoter for danish design and products thereof. Believe on this, we need to make it to the international scene if we want to have any chance in writing related stuff on design and innovation.

But I just couldn't help myself from posting this. A danish company, Aresa, is developing a special sort of plant that will be planted in African countries and other countries that is dealing with landmine problems. When the plant grows and then discovers explosives, it turns from green to red. This is a great way of using design to remove the millions of landmines out there.

An idea for Aresa: What about making a special kind of grass that turns red when it discovers oil in the dirt underneath? Would be a great way of discovering polution underneath your lawn!

The possibilities of this is endless.

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I think there is a plant (I have no idea of its name) that usually grows only in areas where oil is present in the soil. Interestingly, people who claim to be able to dowse have cheated on occasions by simply looking for the presence of this plant in the area.

Posted by: John Tunney | Mar 31, 2005 6:56:45 PM

Wow that is amazing. It certainly is endless. Imagine if the plant/tree that grew fruit would actually indicate when the fruit was ready. Say like a tomato or an apple would turn a certain color stating that it was read to eat. We'll get there eventually!

Posted by: Ryan Nichols | Apr 1, 2005 10:39:55 PM

This is so stupid. Lets grow a plant to detect land mines in 3rd world countries in Africa.
Now looking at the countries this would likely be rolled out in, where the stuff are you getting water or nutrients in the soil to grow anything?
So now you need to have people water (+cost) and fertilize the soil (+cost) to get the plant (+cost) to grow. IMHO that would be a garderner a kinda dangerous job. Plus you now have all these costs piling up.
Bring on the traditional methods, mine detectors and mine detenation systems!

Posted by: Robert MacLean | Apr 6, 2005 7:26:52 AM

This a great idea -- I think the creative minds are on the right track (Mr. MacLean's comments notwithstanding.) Weeds seem to grow just about anywhere with no care at all. Natural flora has grown unabated in desert regions -- why should we not assume the ecological angles are being worked into these horticulturally-based alert systems?

Posted by: Don The Idea Guy | Apr 6, 2005 11:40:47 PM

I agree with Don on this one. You can grow weeds anywhere and without any care. To that you could add that a lot of engineers specialized in this particular subject wouldn't make such a mistake. As far as I know they already tested it and it works just fine. They have two big difficulties as I see it though:

1) A lot of landmines are already marked, what is needed is removal. So if this plant could automatically disarm the landmine aswell it would be a success. I think I saw that in an interview with guy from the UN.

2) They costs has to be paid. The danish government has paid a lot of the research for this product and so has international organizations. It is now a year ago when I first heard about this in a danish tv show and they do not seem to have come that much further. They need a UN organization to make the first move I guess.

Posted by: Jacob Bøtter | Apr 11, 2005 4:20:29 PM

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CPH127 is a sense-making initiative. We aim to create a open dialogue around the profound understanding of the leadership, organization and strategy of creative business functions with the aim to create new value (for customers, employers and stakeholders.

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