October 24, 2009
by Canadian Architect
Every medal won at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games will be unique — a first in Games history. Recently unveiled to great critical acclaim, the medals designed by Omer Arbel are characterized by an undulating form meant to abstractly represent ocean waves, drifting snow and the mountainous landscape surrounding Vancouver.
On the medal’s surface, Arbel applied two large master artworks of an orca whale (Olympic) and raven (Paralympic) by Vancouver-based Corrine Hunt, a Canadian artist of Komoyue and Tlingit heritage. Hunt’s artwork was produced at a large scale, and then a specific, cropped section of the larger art was applied to each of the individual medals, making each unique. A silk scarf printed with the master artwork will be presented to each medallist along with their medal, enabling them to see how their medal connects with those awarded to other athletes at the Games and to make the artwork complete. Like a puzzle, it takes all of the individual medals to complete the artwork.
The medals were produced by the Royal Canadian Mint using metals supplied by Canadian mining company Teck Resources.
Omer Arbel is an industrial designer and architect based in Vancouver who leads OAO – a design office focused on eliminating the boundaries between the traditionally defined fields of architecture, industrial design, material research, manufacturing and invention. This basic conceptual approach has resulted in unexpected and inventive works which have positioned the practice as one of Canada’s most experimental and innovative young design offices. The practice has been extensively published, has won some of the highest profile international design awards,
and exhibited work in some of the most celebrated venues worldwide.
For more information, please visit www.omerarbel.com