The London 2012 Olympic Torch Design

The London 2012 Olympic Torch Design

The East London-based design studio BarberOsgerby was chosen for the historic task through a competitive tender run by LOCOG and the Design Council.

The design, engineering and manufacture of the Torch celebrates the best of British talent, with the designers working in partnership with Basildon based product engineers Tecosim and Coventry based manufacturers The Premier Group. Together they have developed the prototypes on show today and the processes for the mass production of the Torches that will start later this year.

The Torch, which stands 800mm high and weighs 800g is made up of four key pieces - an inner and an outer aluminium alloy skin perforated by 8,000 circles that are held in place by a cast top piece and base.

Representing 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 heat is quickly dissipated without being conducted down the handle and providing extra grip.

Responding to a call in the brief to recognise the fact that more than half of the London 2012 Torchbearers are expected to be young people aged between 12 and 24, several design features have been implemented to produce what will be one of the lighter Olympic Torches. Crafted from an aluminium alloy, developed for the aerospace and automotive industry that is lightweight whilst having good tensile strength and excellent heat resistance, the 8,000 circles also reduce the weight of the final design whilst ensuring strength isn't compromised.

The London 2012 Olympic Torch Design

The torch will be carried by 8,000 inspirational Torchbearers on a 70-day Olympic Torch Relay, which will take the Olympic Flame on an 8,000 mile journey across the UK next summer. From the start point of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay at Land's End on 19 May 2012 an average of 110 people a day will take centre stage by carrying the Olympic Flame on its journey around the UK before it arrives at the Olympic Stadium on 27 July 2012 for the lighting of the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony, signifying the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

"This is a great example of how government procurement and design can come together - not just to create a beautiful, iconic example of design excellence, but to provide real business opportunities and to show the world that Britain is a leader in design-led innovation and manufacturing," said David Kester, Chief Executive of the Design Council. "I am sure the whole of the UK design industry will join us in congratulating Barber Osgerby on what is a huge achievement."

filed under: Industrial Design
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