BEIJING, February 5, 2008 — In addition to designing the Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch that will travel the world on its way to herald the arrival of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, Lenovo has designed new torch relay components including the Lantern and Local City Cauldrons. The lantern houses the Olympic flame once it is lit in Olympia, Greece and safely carries the “mother flame” from city to city for the duration of the relay while the Olympic cauldron will be lit by the day’s last torchbearer at each end-of-day city celebration.
The design extends the ‘Cloud of Promise’ design motif from the Olympic Torch to the lantern and cauldron. Lenovo’s designers drew their inspiration for the lantern from the traditional lanterns that once adorned the walls of ancient Chinese palaces. The lantern represents a striking integration of beauty and functionality: its silver luster, coupled with a section of clear glass surrounding the flame, conveys the purity and spirit of the Olympic Games, while its practical construction allows it to be quickly dismantled and cleaned – an important feature for the kindling lamp that will need to be cleaned repeatedly during the torch relay.
With the help of its specialists in history and anthropology, Lenovo’s design team based the Olympic cauldron on the ancient concept of a “round heaven and square earth,” the same philosophy that inspired the design of China’s renowned Temple of Heaven. While its shape emulates that of a typical cauldron from the Chinese Bronze Age, the 56 swirling clouds engraved on its curved plate imbue the cauldron with a distinctly modern feel, and represent best wishes to China’s 56 ethnic groups. The cauldron’s base, with its four legs and eight faces, symbolizes the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games welcomes friends from all everywhere around the world. The Olympic cauldron stands 130 centimeters (51.18 in.) high, symbolizing the 130-day duration of the torch relay. The cauldron plate is 29 centimeters (11.4 in.) deep, symbolizing the 29th Olympiad.
Lenovo’s “Cloud of Promise” design was chosen over 300 competitor themes for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch and will be carried by torchbearers around the world in the Olympic Torch Relay preceding the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
Since its inception, the Olympic torch has come to represent the history and culture of its host country and city. Lenovo’s unique approach for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch incorporates a sleek and modern design with historical Chinese symbolism. The primary theme of the torch’s artwork is clouds, which are intimately associated with Chinese culture, and are often represented in works of Chinese architecture, drawing and painting, furniture and story-telling.
“As a global company with roots in China and Worldwide Partner of the Olympic Torch Relay, it is an honor to have our torch design and theme play such visible roles during the Olympic Torch Relay,” said Deepak Advani, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Lenovo. “Lenovo’s spirit, similar to that of the Olympic Games themselves, is multicultural, collaborative and competitive. The Lenovo design team brought great passion and strong professional capability and experience to create the ‘Cloud of Promise’ themed torch and other relay components, which marry modern technology and Olympic spirit with the Chinese traditional culture. We are proud for the “Cloud of Promise” to be a fundamental part of the torch relay around the world.”
Design of the Torch
The torch, fashioned from a polished aluminum-magnesium alloy, measures 720 millimeters x 50 mm x 40 mm (28.35 inches x 1.97 in x 1.56 in) and is exceptionally lightweight at about 1,000 grams (2.21 pounds).
Additional features of the torch design include:
* Primary coloring of deep red and bright silver, a fusion of traditional Chinese art and contemporary design, blending symbols of Chinese culture, philosophy and art;
* A handle designed not only for comfort, but to emulate the unique sensation of one hand holding another thanks to a coating of rubber-based paint; and
* An embossed pattern of clouds, which represent the ever-developing Chinese culture.
Lenovo’s award-winning design team spent more than 10 months on the design of the torch. Altogether, more than 30 Lenovo design specialists were involved in the torch project including the core team of 10. The team was truly multinational, including designers from Germany, Singapore, US, Japan, New Zealand, Italy and China. The experience and specialties of the designers were equally diverse, and included majors in graphic design, chemistry, engineering, materials, anthropology, art and history. For months the teams engaged in intensive brainstorming and creativity exercises, to help them look at the torch design from many different perspectives.
The official torch lighting will take place in Olympia, Greece, in March 2008. The torch is planned to travel to 21 cities in five continents including London, Paris, San Francisco, Canberra, Mumbai, and Nagano, followed by Hong Kong and Macau, before spending 97 days in Mainland China to arrive at its final destination in Beijing on August 8, 2008, marking the start of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.