MFA Interaction Design Department faculty member John Zapolski was featured in Forbes recently for his innovative humanitarian venture Fonderie 47. “Our vision is an Africa free of fear from assault rifles,” he told Hannah Elliott in Forbes. “We create wearable art from AK-47s that we remove and destroy from Africa—and the pieces that we make are made by some of the world’s most inspired creators.”
Since 2009, Fonderie 47 has funded the destruction of 6,000 assault rifles stockpiled by the United Nations and the Democratic Republic of Congo, using the scrap metal to make jewelry. One key to the organization’s success is the buyers it curates—philanthropists, entrepreneurs, and billionaires. The group’s most recent project is a pair of $35,000 cuff links designed by Swiss mechanics master Roland Iten—each set sold pays for the destruction of 100 rifles in Africa. “We’d like to directly contribute to the removal and destruction of 1 million of them over the next seven years,” Zapolski said.
To read the full article, visit Forbes.