London 2012 Olympic Torch

Barber Osgerby (Established 1996 - )

Gold PVD-coated aluminium alloy


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© Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby

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  • About the work
    Country: Japan
    City: Tokyo
    Place: British Embassy

    The sleek, light-weight, triangular shape of the London 2012 Olympic Torch was commissioned by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) from Barber Osgerby, a London-based industrial design studio established in 1996 by British designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby.

    The torch is made up of four key pieces – an inner and an outer aluminium alloy skin perforated by 8,000 circles that is held in place by a cast top piece and base. The circles represent the inspirational stories of the 8,000 Torchbearers who carried the Olympic Flame, and allow viewers to see right to the heart of the Torch with its burner system which kept the Olympic Flame alive.

    The triangular form of the torch was inspired by the identification of multiples of three 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, stronger; the fact that the UK has hosted the Olympic Games three times – in 1908, 1948 and 2012; and finally, the vision for the London 2012 Olympic Games to combine three strands of work – sport, education and culture.

    Barber Osgerby’s Olympic Torch won the London Design Museum‘s design of the year award 2012, and was displayed at the Triennale di Milano as part of the Milan Design Week 2012.

  • About the artist
    Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby founded their East London studio Barber Osgerby in 1996, after studying architecture together at the Royal College of Art. Their approach is characterised by an emphasis on experimentation and innovation, exploring materiality and colour in connection to industrial processes and new technologies. Their design's affinities with fine art has been illustrated in large-scale installations such as 'Double Space' (2014), a series of revolving mirrors suspended from the ceiling of the Raphael Gallery in the V&A; and 'Forecast' (2016), a wind-powered work installed at Somerset House, as part of the first London Design Biennale in 2016.
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  • Details
    London 2012 Olympic Torch
    Gold PVD-coated aluminium alloy
    height: 80.00 cm, width: 10.70 cm, depth: 10.10 cm
    Presented by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), December 2012
    Presented by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, March 2012
    GAC number