Cauldron prototype and lid, Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games, wood/cardboard/sand/glue, designed and made by bangdesign, Sydney, 1998.
On 23 February 1998, the Sydney company, Bang Design, submitted its final tender to design the Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic torches and the community cauldron that would feature at torch relay celebrations. This wooden, cauldron prototype was central to the submission. Two other Sydney designers - Katie Molnar and Blue Sky - also participated in this third and final round of tenders and, like Bang, they submitted torch and cauldron prototypes, a written proposal and a video production. The Sydney 2000 Torch Selection Committee judged these bodies of work, and awarded the design contract to Blue Sky.
In early 1998, SOCOG invited over fifty local design companies to submit proposals for the Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic torches, and the portable cauldrons that would feature at Torch Relay celebrations. The detailed and exacting brief comprised broad specifications that reflected the enormity of the Torch Relay, and the environmental concerns that underpinned the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Essentially, the selected torch and cauldron would withstand the extreme weather conditions that might arise during the relay, including high winds, torrential rain and hail, varying temperatures, humidity, dust and snow. They would be safe to transport, store, and operate, simple to repair and easy to use. The torch itself would burn for up to thirty minutes while the portable cauldron, with a much larger fuel system, would burn for no less than twelve hours. Moreover, both the torch and cauldron would be ergonomic for the young, elderly and disabled, lightweight, fuel-efficient, and inexpensive to mass-produce. (The combined Olympic and Paralympic Torch Relays would require 14,200 torches and 187 community cauldrons.)
In 1997, Bang Design assisted SOCOG in developing a visual theme for the Sydney 2000 Games, and 12 months later, it encapsulated this theme in its torch and cauldron designs. Evoking the energy and colours of Sydney Harbour, the torch prototype featured a streamlined body, and a two-toned surface in silver and blue. Its rounded head, which tapered into a long handle, resembled the flexed muscle of an Olympic athlete, and embodied the power and energy of Olympism. Its sleek form and reflective surface (which would be created through aluminium casting) would represent the spirit of the new millennium.
Echoing this design, the community cauldron comprised five shafts that would emit fuel to burn the Olympic and Paralympic flames. The structure would stand within a pool of water, and when viewed from above, would resemble the circular formation of the Olympic rings. Its sandy surface would complement this watery theme. Unlike other cauldron designs, this example was highly sculptural, and was intended to form permanent works of art at the communities hosting torch relay celebrations.
The torch and cauldron prototypes were submitted to the Torch Selection Committee with a presentation, written proposal and video (now held by Bang). This entire body of work reflects one of around 200 submissions to the Torch Selection Committee, and in combination with other tenders, represents the Australian and Olympic iconography that inspired local designers before the Games.
Bang Design (91 Beattie St Balmain, NSW Australia 2041) designed the cauldron prototype in early 1998.
Bang Design made the cauldron prototype in early 1998 for the Sydney 2000 Torch Selection Committee.
Bang Design presented this cauldron prototype, as well as a torch prototype, video and written submission, to the Sydney 2000 Torch Selection Committee on 23 February 1998 (Bang Design owns the video and documentation). The submission was one of three finalists in the design competition for the Sydney Olympic and Paralympic torches.
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.