En Route From Beijing to London, The 2012 Olympic Torch Takes a 6-Day Breather at the Milan Furniture Fair

En Route From Beijing to London, The 2012 Olympic Torch Takes a 6-Day Breather at the Milan Furniture Fair
Detail of the London 2012 Olympic Torch
(Courtesy of BarberOsgerby Studio)

On its way to London for the 2012 Olympic games, the Olympic Torch, that paradigmatic symbol of athletic achievement, is making a detour to stop at the Salone del Mobile in Milan. During the venerable international furniture fair, it’ll have its very own exhibition, complete with sketches and models that chart its development. 

Award-winning London-based designers and architects Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby crafted this year’s torch with a bit of a high-tech spin: the blazing sceptre was built from an aerospace-grade aluminum alloy to function in high altitudes, at sub-zero temperatures, and in high winds (all completely necessary during its 70-day trek through the harrowing U.K. landscape). Designed to be handled by athletes, it allows for an easy grip with its tactile surface of 8,000 laser-cut perforations, representative of the 8,000 Olympians who will descend upon London this summer — and it’s also the lightest Olympic torch ever. The exterior creates a translucency that makes the flame visible at all times. And, because the best things come in threes — this is London’s third round as Olympic host city, and the games’ motto is “faster, higher, stronger” — it has a trilateral shape.

 

If you happen to be attending the world’s most important furniture fair and feel athe need to take a break from the furniture, drop in to La Triennale Museum to see the design in its sportier applications.  

The Olympic Torch will be on view at the Triennale di Milan April 17 through 22.

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