2006 Annual Design Review Concepts Best of Category

Farewell to Arms

Paul Bosveld, of Toronto’s BosveldLab, proposes that women assume a dominant role in grassroots disarmament efforts by removing guns from households in communities where weapons are traditionally stockpiled. He thinks women are motivated to eliminate guns because they “suffer greatly from their presence both as victims of gun violence and in caring for loved ones injured by weapons.”

But it’s not easy to hide guns, or destroy them with standard methods like incineration, crushing, or cutting with hydraulic shears. To disable guns at home, Bosveld suggests using his simple tool: a squeeze bottle containing an epoxy resin and hardener. You remove the cap, push the nozzle into the gun barrel, squeeze in the resin, and leave the weapon upright for 20 minutes. The resin clogs the barrel, and the squeeze bulb marks the gun as useless.

Hunt liked that the project acknowledged an underexamined condition: living with guns. “It’s a crystal-clear idea in a beautiful form that reveals something about the world and changes my understanding of it,” he said. “This is a grassroots approach that’s a subversive way to address violence.” Hunt further admired that Bosveld identified “a role for women in postwar peacetime,” while reminding us that “men and women might have different ideas about war.” Zolli said, “This shows what design can do to make things iconic, to make an idea visible.” Aesthetics improved the pitch. The message’s ingenuity impressed Globus, but she worried about the safety of women who plugged the guns, once the gun owners caught on. Would the would-be violence-stopper incite more violence?

The squeeze bottle raised enough questions to outdo the other entries as the most provocative concept in the crowd. Never underestimate the power of glue.

DESIGN/CLIENT BosveldLab (Toronto): Paul Bosveld, designer
MATERIALS Polyurethane, injection-molded polypropylene
SOFTWARE Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, Autodesk Autostudio and Maya

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