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Olympic Torch Voted Design of Year Before London’s Games

2012 Olympic Torch
The London 2012 Olympic Torch prototype has won the Design of the Year award, organized by the Design Museum in London. Photographers: Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby/Design Museum via Bloomberg

The Olympic torch was voted Design of the Year in a U.K. contest, as judges chose to reward the sporting emblem in the year of the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Designed by London-based Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, the tapered rod has 8,000 holes representing the 8,000 bearers who will carry it over 8,000 miles (12,874 kilometers). Runners-up in the “Design of the Year 2012” announced last night included Catherine Middleton’s wedding gown, a Zaha Hadid opera house in China, and Vivienne Westwood handbags made in Kenya.

“Nothing is harder to get right than designing for the Olympics,” said Deyan Sudjic, director of the Design Museum, which runs the awards. “The lightness and simplicity of Barber Osgerby’s London 2012 Olympic Torch does just that.”

The torch was not the only Olympic-themed winner: The London 2012 Velodrome, designed by London-based Hopkins Architects, picked up the award for architecture, one of seven subsidiary prizes given out in individual categories.

The fashion award went to Issey Miyake’s 132.5 collection; the digital award to Kinect by Microsoft; the transport award to a redesign of the London Emergency Ambulance; the graphics award to Nokia Pure, a font design that can adjust to all languages and the furniture award to Kihyun Kim’s balsa chair.

The torch and other nominees are on display at the Design Museum, Shad Thames, London SE1 2YD through July 4.


Today’s Muse highlights include: Manuela Hoelterhoff interviews Pablo Heras-Casado; Mark Beech on new rock CDs; Jeremy Gerard on Broadway; Ryan Sutton on New York dining.

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