— 4th semester project
Olympic torch 2021
What is the project?
In a nutshell the task was to design an Olympic torch for the 2021 Summer Olympics in Japan. To make this project more interesting and challenging 2 additions were made. 1) Every country designs their own torch and only the flame is passed on from Greece to Japan. Choose a country and design a torch which suits the chosen country. 2) choose a company from the chosen country and design in their style (design DNA).
I chose China and DJI
I do want to note though, this project was mainly focused on designing in the style of a brand opposed to functional design. Meaning some problems favor a more aesthetic solution over a more functional solution.
This project started with research and orientation in the country, brand and the product. This resulted in mood boards about the country, user and the design DNA.
After this I started sketching and came up with a couple of concepts. I drew inspiration for each concept from different sources for variety between the concepts. The first concept is mainly inspired by Chinese culture. The second concept is inspired by the DJI drones and the third by their gimbals.
— Cad (computer aided design)
After I was content with the amount of different concepts I chose concept 3 because it reflects the brand and the country the best.
I struggled quite a bit in the beginning of the modeling process. This is the very first product I designed in which I had to use surface modeling so I didn’t have a lot of experience using these tools. It also was a opportunity for me to grow as a designer. I learned a lot about the tools, how to use them and in which order.
The handle is the best example of this. It is a complicated part because it has many curves which all blend together in different ways. But, after many different attempts I was finally able to draw it.
DJI is a company that make drones and camera gimbals. A camera gimbal is a machine that stabilizes a camera resulting in smooth shots and no unwanted vibrations. This concept combines the mechanics of a camera gimbal with the Olympic torch in a way that the flame is stabilized just like the camera. The handle can be tilted in all directions while keeping the burner steady as shown above. The gimbal mechanism has of course it’s limits, so the runner who holds the Olympic torch has to make an effort to keep the flame steady as well.
At the start of this project I had absolutely no knowledge of surface modeling and had never designed a product in the style of an existing brand. This project pushed me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to grow as a designer. It was a tough journey but one that I needed and also really enjoyed. I am also really happy with the results and I am looking forward to applying all the things I learned to future projects.