The London 2012 Olympic Torch: Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby

Curator: WSDIA | WeShouldDoItAll
date: October 24, 2011
Categories: Entertainment Design
Tags: 2012, barber, Olympics, osgerby, Torch
Image courtesy of Barber Osgerby
The torches are comprised of an inner and outer skin, joined by two cast elements at each end.

“Ever since we were young we have loved the Olympic Games. As designers, this is quite simply the best project going: to design an icon for the Games. We’ve wanted to be involved since July 2005 when we were celebrating winning the bid with the rest of the UK...This is our opportunity to represent the UK, in design terms, and we are incredibly proud to be doing so.” —Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby

The Olympic Torch is made up of four key pieces—an inner and an outer aluminum alloy skin perforated by 8,000 circles that are held in place by a cast top piece and base.

The 8,000 perforations represent the inspirational stories of the 8,000 torchbearers who will carry the Olympic Flame; the circles which run the length of the body of the torch also offer a unique level of transparency—allowing people to see right to the heart of the torch and view the burner system which will keep the Olympic Flame alive. The circles also help ensure that heat is quickly dissipated without being conducted down the handle and provides extra grip.

The triangular form of the torch design has been inspired by the identification of multiples of three that are found across the vision and delivery of the Olympic Games: The three Olympic values of respect, excellence and friendship; the three words that make the Olympic motto—faster, higher and stronger; the fact the UK has hosted the Olympic Games three times—in 1908, 1948 and 2012; the vision for the London 2012 Olympic Games to combine three strands of work—sport, education and culture.

Image courtesy of Barber Osgerby
Ignore the logo.

Image courtesy of Barber Osgerby
Material samples

Image courtesy of Barber Osgerby
Torches for previous Olympic games

The Barber Osgerby piece for next year’s Olympic games is one of the design landmarks of 2011. An extremely intelligent and well-thought-out piece of work from our favorite product/furniture design studios.

In due time, this torch will rank right at the top with other Olympic design icons.
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