7 Ways Design has Influenced the Olympics at Rio

7 Ways Design has Influenced the Olympics at Rio

By: Lindsay Ferro

It’s that time again! The summer Olympics are officially here and creating excitement all over the world as we cheer on our favorite teams and players every day. Every two years, I am reminded of all the little details and design that go into preparing for the games whether summer or winter.  This year it has inspired me to do a little research on some of the iconic pieces that are designed to make every Olympic event unique to the country that is hosting or participating. GO USA!

  1. The medals– This year’s 5,130 medals not only represent athletic excellence but also signify sustainability and accessibility by using recycled content. All of the medals comprise of 30% recycled silver and bronze, the ribbons are made from 50% recycled bottles (PET), and even the box that the medal is presented in is a sustainably sourced wooden box. The Brazilian Mint is the producer of these beautiful medals and they also maintain sustainable practices during extraction and production.
  2. The outfits– USA has worn Ralph Lauren for five years now in the iconic red, white, and blue attire. Go USA! A few other outfit stand-outs have been Sweden dressed in H&M, Great Britain dressed by Stella McCartney, France dressed by Lacoste, and Canada dressed by DSquared2. South Korea’s uniforms were even repellent-infused to try and keep mosquitoes away.
  3. The architecture-After some negative media attention about the status of some of the new buildings, there is some good to come from the buildings after the Olympic ceremonies are over. For example, the plan for the handball arena is to transform it into four state schools accommodating about 500 students each.
  4. The flooring– During a recent presentation by our local reps, we learned that Gerflor has been used to build many of the athletic floors at the Olympics for the last 40 years. In this year’s Olympics, the Taraflex sports flooring is used on 7 of the volleyball courts and 6 of the handball courts accounting for 160,000 square feet. Their colorful flooring has also been used for badminton, basketball, and table tennis surfaces.
  5. The torch– This year’s Olympic torch was designed by Chelles & Hayashi studio and features moveable segments that expand to show the colors of Brazil. According to Beth Lula, Rio brand director, the torch’s “horizontal segments, once open, reveal the sky, mountains, sea and ground” of Brazil.
  6. The branding & logo: The branding for the games at Rio was inspired by no other the people, energy, sites, smells, colors, landscape, and diversity of Brazil. Movement, passion, transformation, energy, spirit, nature, and diversity all help tie together the culture of Rio and support the Olympic slogan “Rio 2016: A New World.”
  7. The cauldron: Is surrounded by a large kinetic sculpture designed by Anthony Howe that was meant to replicate the sun. The metal sculpture is made up of hundreds of reflective spheres and plates that rotate.

 

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