London 2012 Olympic Torch by BarberOsgerby
wins Design of the Year 2012

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Olympic Torch by BarberOsgerby

Dezeen Wire: the London 2012 Olympic Torch by east London designers BarberOsgerby has been awarded as Design of the Year in a ceremony at the Design Museum in London tonight.

Design of the Year 2012

The category winners have also been announced, and include the London 2012 Velodrome by Hopkins (above, see our earlier storyIssey Miyake 's 132.5 collection (below, see our earlier story) and the 1.3 Chair made of balsa wood that Ki Hyun Kim showed at his graduation from the Royal College of Art last year (see our story here).

Design of the Year 2012

The redesign of the Emergency Ambulance triumphed in the transport category, designed by the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design and the vehicle design department at the Royal College of Art, the digital category winner was Kinect by Microsoft and the graphics category winner was Nokia Pure, a font by London firm Dalton Maag that can adjust to any language.

Design of the Year 2012

All the nominated designs are on show at the museum until 4 July - see the full shortlist here and our story on the exhibition design here.

Design of the Year 2012

See our earlier stories on previous winners:

2008 – One Laptop per Child by Yves Béhar of Fuseproject
2009 – Barack Obama Poster by Shepard Fairey
2010 – Folding Plug by Min-Kyu Choi
2011 – Plumen Lightbulb 001 by Samuel Wilkinson

Design of the Year 2012

Here's some more information from the museum:


London Olympic Torch wins Design of the Year 2012

Design Studio, Barber Osgerby wins international design award for the London 2012 Olympic Torch.

London, 24 April: British design studio Barber Osgerby have won the Design of the Year 2012 for their stunning design of the London 2012 Olympic Torch. The overall winner was chosen from 89 entries to claim the winning title. The award, designed by Swarovski was presented at last nights awards ceremony held at the Design Museum.

The London 2012 Olympic Torch is not only a beautiful symbol of the Olympic Games but it also meets a demanding design brief. The aluminium made torch will be carried over 8,000 miles and is perforated with 8,000 circular holes, each representing a bearer who will run with the torch. Aside from being decorative, the holes also act to reduce the weight of the torch and prevent heat from the flame being conducted to the bearer’s hand.

Deyan Sudjic Director of the Design Museum said of the winning entry ‘Nothing is harder to get right than designing for the Olympics. The lightness and simplicity of Barber Osgerby’s London 2012 Olympic Torch does just that. The torch not only captures the spirit of London as Olympic host city but also demonstrates how design can celebrate traditional ideas in a modern way’.

Sebastian Coe, Chair of LOCOG, added: ‘The Torch is one of the most recognisable symbols of the Olympic Games and we are thrilled that our design has won this prestigious title. I am delighted we have such a brilliantly designed, engineered and crafted Torch that will help to celebrate the amazing personal achievements of each of our 8,000 Torchbearers and give them their moment to shine. It is also fantastic news that the stunning architecture of the London 2012 Velodrome has won an award and welcome recognition of the landmark new buildings the Games are bringing to London.’

Seven Category awards were also presented at the ceremony:

The Architecture Award went to the London 2012 Velodrome.
The Fashion Award went to Issey Miyake 132.5 collection.
The Digital Awards went to Kinect by Microsoft.
The Transport Award went to the redesign of the Emergency Ambulance.
The Graphic Award went to Nokia Pure, a font design that can adjust to all languages.
The Furniture Category was won by recent RCA graduate Kihyun Kim for his balsa wood 1.3 Chair.

The London 2012 Olympic Torch along with the other shortlisted designs are currently on show at the Designs of the Year exhibition at the Design Museum, London until July 4.

2012 Design Awards Jury:

Evgeny Lebedev
Henrietta Thompson
Hella Jongerious
Sir George Iacobescu

Overall winner – Design of the Year 2012

The London 2012 Olympic Torch, UK
Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, commissioned by the London
Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympics Games

Category winners:

Architecture Award 2012
London 2012 Velodrome, London, UK
Hopkins Architects

Digital Award 2012
Microsoft Kinect and Kinect SDK
Microsoft Games Studios, Microsoft Research and Xbox, UK and USA

Fashion Award 2012
132 5. ISSEY MIYAKE
Miyake Design Studio, Tokyo, Japan

Furniture Award 2012
1.3 Chair, Balsa Furniture, London, UK
Kihyun Kim

Graphics Award 2012
Nokia Pure Font, London, UK
Dalton Maag

Product Award 2012
The London 2012 Olympic Torch, UK
Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, commissioned by the London
Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympics Games

Transport Award 2012
Re-design for Emergency Ambulance, London, UK
Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design and Vehicle Design Department,
Royal College of Art

The Design of the Year 2012 Awards were designed by Swarovski

  • http://twitter.com/WalnutGrey @WalnutGrey

    So of all the great design out there, the London Olympic Torch wins Design of the Year 2012?! I think it's ludicrous & laughable!

    There must have been an element of bias… it just so happens the Olympic Torch wins in the year of the Games… very dubious indeed.

  • Ricardo

    Design of the year???!!! This torch??!! Ah ok, the British themselves are saying that… ok, ok, understood.

  • barry

    the olympics, build new expensive apartments that screen off old flats that poor people live in so we dont have to see them on our tvs, cut funding at schools so kids cannot do sports such as swimming, spend billions whilst the countries on its knees, build on hackney marshes so my kids cant play their, cut off roads so that businesses already on their knees cannot trade fully and give a design award for a torch designed for the olympics…..get real

  • barry

    …oh and what exactly is revalutionary about this torch apart from the bling factor?

  • http://twitter.com/WalnutGrey @WalnutGrey

    So of all the great design out there, this torch won the coveted Design of the Year. I'm astounded and dismayed, but I am equally not that surprised. It just so happens the Olympics are taking place in London this year and it just so happens the London Olympic Torch wins Design of the Year. Far be it from me to suggest anything more than coincidence.

    If it were a great design, then fine, but this torch is inane and unappealing. Other designers… you were robbed!

    • Chris

      It's not inane, it's actually rather beautiful, it's just not of the same quality of other British designers.

  • Danko

    Judging by the comments already made it seems my fears are being realised. The Design museum is playing a dangerous game both with its reputation and the reputation of design (and especially British design).

    Without wanting to sound too cynical it seems there are a number of ulterior motives for this selection including political motives and not to mention the need to raise the profile of the Museum amongst the general public, which is needed but this is not the way to do it by undermining their expertise. It also looks like they are piggy backing on the Olympics to try and navigate foreign visitors to the museum but what’s the point if no one trusts your opinion.

    This selection only adds fuel to the argument of what exactly separates a good design from just something that has been designed. The torch is nice but there is nothing exceptional about the process, socially or even the aesthetic. Its nice but is that enough considering all the other exceptional designs created last year some of which you only had to visit Dezeen to see. I fear this makes the museum seem out of touch and sends the wrong signals to the public and internationally about the potential of design.

  • Chris

    This is Bull. Of all the great design that comes out of the UK, THIS is the best? Very bizarre.

  • Bhavnesh

    Really? Actually, it's not surprising.

    Design Museum, design blogs = marketing.

  • From Berlin

    So: Nokia, Microsoft, London Olympics…I'm really surprised that the Shard didn't win an award for architecture. Or did it? I couldn't be bothered to look. It seems that the Designer Of The Year Award lost its soul entirely. It used to be a celebration of raw and independent british creativity which has now morphed into some weird corporate ball(s) game. Really not interested in it anymore. What lead the jury to lose their balls…sorry, spine?

  • Preacher Man

    Hold on, if work commissioned and produced specifically for the Olympics can't be acknowledged and celebrated during Olympic year, when exactly can it? Designs of the Year 2013?

  • mito

    just want to sell more tickets to people to see the torch when they visit the Olympics.
    thats low level judgement. thumbs down…

  • Bhavnesh

    So, the 'Design of the Year 2012' goes out on day 3. Yay for 'good design'.