It sounds a bit ridiculous that we would ever be designing something that you would never want to use but in the case of the dFENCE shelving system it couldn't be more true.
dFENCE is a bullet-proof bookcase intended for deployment in schools and government facilities in the US to protect innocents from the gunfire of crazed gunmen.
The dFENCE bookcase was the idea of ex-special operations and anti-terrorism officer Craig Harwood. After watching the news with his daughter Bridgette of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre he wondered if there wasn't something more that could be done to prevent this from happening.
After a lot of thought Craig came up with the idea to incorporate a ballistic panel into a moveable shelving system that could be used to protect people from gunfire. The idea was to disguise the barrier in such a way that it could be incorporated seamlessly into classrooms and boardrooms alike.
The shelving system incorporates anti-ballistic panels that are strong enough to stop most assault rifles and hand guns used by most gunmen. The bookcase is designed to be able to be moved into doorways and entries to prevent the gunman entry and act as a protective screen to shelter behind.
The realization of this wasn't as straight forward as you might imagine. Not only was the dFENCE bookcase required to withstand gunfire but it was also required to prevent forced entry into a room by a crazed gunman. Tipping and stability calculations were carried out and design modifications made to ensure the unit would resist this kind of attack.
Craig is currently in discussions with the US about the deployment of the dFENCE system and hopes that on day in will help prevent scenes like those seen at the Sandy Hook massacre.
Bullet-proof bookcases for US schools
You can find more information at the Dfence website