Olympic medal case, (3), Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, injection molded plastic/aluminium/ designed by Bang Design, Sydney 2000
In mid 2000, the Sydney design group, Bang Design, developed these hinged cases to hold victory medals for the Sydney Olympic Games. SOCOG, which prepared the design brief, requested that the cases represent Australian energy and innovation, and make symbolic references to Sydney and the new millennium. Most importantly, the cases would contrast conventional examples that combined leather surfaces and velveteen linings.
Made from injection molded plastic, the Bang medal cases were rounded and tactile, and were good examples of contemporary Australian design. Referencing Australia's beach culture, their blue translucent lids made the enclosed medals appear as if they were under water. This theme also influenced the internal design, with the neoprene support referencing surfboards and neoprene accessories and attachments. Surrounding this support, the recessed base was made from aluminium spinning, and was integral to the modern, technical appearance of the entire design.
Manufacture of the medal cases was quick and relatively simple, and was assisted by the straightforward process of injection molding. The entire project, which produced 2500 medal cases, ended only fourteen weeks before the Games commenced. This was one of several design projects that Bang completed for the Sydney 2000 Games.
Bang first worked with SOCOG in 1997 when it researched visual themes for the Sydney Olympics, and developed models of public architecture that would enhance the look of Sydney. This exercise introduced Bang to several design projects that represented Sydney as a vibrant and youthful Olympic host city. Aside from developing the medal cases, Bang designed plastic containers for Aboriginal message sticks (gifts to visiting Olympic officials), as well as distance markers and lane markers for athletics fields. In 1999, it submitted a tender to design the Olympic and Paralympic torches, and progressed to the final round of the competition.
The medal boxes were designed and manufactured by Bang Design, Balmain, Sydney in 2000.
Before designing their products for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, Bang Design set about seeing what it meant to be Australian, travelling to the outback and the beach interviewing people and taking hundreds of photographs. For these translucent blue medal containers they had just eight weeks from brief to manufacture 'and we couldn't miss the deadline'.
Made for and owned by the Olympic Coordination Authority/Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, and donated to the Powerhouse Museum after use in the Games.