subscribe
free e-newsletter free e-newsletter
product info
advertise
FAQ
SUBSCRIBE TODAY
for premium web access
comment

New Olympic Medals Make Waves

February 12, 2010

By Josephine Minutillo

Long before the athletes go for the gold at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, native son Omer Arbel won the commission to design the medals the winning competitors will sport around their necks. Trained as an architect, Arbel divides his time equally between designing buildings and objects since founding his own firm, Omer Arbel Office, in 2005. The medals, however, are a first for Arbel, whose industrial design projects consist mainly of furniture and lighting. “We’ve never done anything like this before,” he admits.

Olympic Medals
Photo courtesy Vanoc/Covan
Click on the slide show icon to see additional photos.
Rate this project:
Based on what you have seen and read about this project, how would you grade it? Use the stars below to indicate your assessment, five stars being the highest rating.
----- Advertising -----

Arbel’s design is also a first for the Olympics since each medal is unique. Produced by the Royal Canadian Mint, each of the 4-inch-wide medals in solid bronze, silver, and gold plate is laser-etched with a cropped section of a larger artwork by Canadian artist Corrine Hunt—an orca whale on the 615 Olympic medals, and a raven on the 399 medals for the Paralympics (taking place in Vancouver in March). Like a puzzle, it takes all of the individual medals to complete the artwork.

The medal’s undulating surface evokes the iconic sea and mountains of the Vancouver-Whistler landscape, but developed from Arbel’s initial design concept of a locket—its bulging form containing a secret compartment in which to store a personal keepsake from the Games. While manufacturing and cost constraints prevented Arbel from pursuing his early idea, he is pleased with the final outcome.  “With the exception of Torino in 2006, every medal design for past Olympic Games has relied on allegory,” he explains. “With this design, the recipients will respond emotionally to the medal’s tactile quality rather than a symbol inscribed on it.”

share: more »

 Reader Comments:

Sign in to Comment

To write a comment about this story, please sign in. If this is your first time commenting on this site, you will be required to fill out a brief registration form. Your public username will be the beginning of the email address that you enter into the form (everything before the @ symbol). Other than that, none of the information that you enter will be publically displayed.

We welcome comments from all points of view. Off-topic or abusive comments, however, will be removed at the editors’ discretion.

----- Advertising -----
----- Advertising -----
Sweets, Search Building Products
Search
Reader Feedback
Most Commented Most Recommended
Rankings reflect comments made in the past 14 days
Rankings reflect comments made in the past 14 days