With Corrine Hunt.
27.1: OAO's winning design proposal for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Medals began, as a conceptual point of departure, with the application of the iconographic jewelry archetype, the locket. The first iteration of the design comprised of two sheets of material, held together by hidden magnets, which housed an internal cavity into which the winning athlete could insert a sentimental object such as a photograph or lucky charm. A manufacturing technique was developed to ensure that each medal produced had a cavity of differing shape and proportion, so that every single medal produced was completely unique from every other medal made. This unique shape (hinting at the existence of an inner cavity) registers on the surface of each medal and became its formal raison d'etre. Inside the cavity, athletes would find a conventional pendant necklace, to be worn in day to day life (unlike the medal, which is typically placed in storage), which, once removed and worn, could be replaced with the sentimental object.
Our intent was to find a way to capture the emotive and historical impact of the events unfolding. We suggest that in the 10 minutes before each event, VANOC operatives would shadow and record each finalist as they make their final preparations; the recording would end with the event beginning. These sounds would be engraved onto the inner surface of the medal right after the event. The intent is to make a medal which can be placed on an analog record player to play the final sounds before the competition.
27.2: Due to various factors, the design was addressed and proposed a second time. The second iteration of the design made use of a two layer undulating surface, representing in abstraction the landscape of the host city Vancouver. Hidden within this surface, and held together, still by hidden magnets, was an internal cavity of differing shape and size, similar to that in the first iteration, with an inner pendant, etc. The undulating surface was conceived of as a much larger canvas than the medal itself, onto which a large piece of artwork by the aboriginal artist Corrine Hunt was applied. Individual medals were 'cropped' from this larger canvas, in a different location in each iteration of the fabrication process, making each completely unique from the others both in terms of the specific undulating form, and in terms of the portion of the artwork visible on each medals surface. This fabrication methodology was simpler and more realistic in that only one set of molds was required (with different, individual crops punched out of the larger whole), and yet the idea of every piece being unique from all the others was maintained.
27.3: Further considerations resulted in a third and final re proposition of the design, which went into production. This re-proposition maintained an undulating form for the medal surface (unfortunately identical for each individual medal), with a laser etched, unique 'crop' of Corrine Hunt's master artwork (still reproduced as a 'larger canvas') on each individual piece.