I like many of you struggled to just about sit through the whole of the Olympic opening ceremony on Friday night. Don’t get me wrong Danny Boyle did an outstanding job, but it did seem to go on for a long long time.
But any who.. I’m not going to go on about details of the show, or how much it cost, there are plenty of articles out there on that. For me as a designer, the highlight of the night had to be the Olympic Cauldron designed by Thomas Heatherwick, so that’s what I’m going to talk about.
During the athletes procession there were children carrying copper petals, at first I was unsure what these were all about, they were nicely formed objects but a little odd on there own. The full meaning behind them was later to be revealed. Basically these 204 copper petals which each represented one of the competing nations were later attached to long pipes in a ring at the centre of the arena.
Seven young up and coming athletes who were each chosen by a British Olympic champion passed the flames from torches to the petals then the flames spread from one petal to the next. Once all the petals were ablaze the pipes began to rise slowly upwards to form, what is now know as the Olympic Cauldron.
When these petals began to rise was a moment of pure engineering genius, I was in awe at this moment. This will be the moment I will remember forever from the 2012 Olympic opening ceremony.
Here is a video for those of you who haven’t seen the Cauldron in action, well worth watching.