Japanese design firm Nendo has created an aluminium spherical cauldron to hold the Olympic flame Tokyo 2020. Inspired by the concept of “All gather under the sun, all are equal, and all receive energy”, the cauldron was designed by Oki Sato, founder of Nendo studio.
“At the end of the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, the cauldron ‘blooms’ to welcome the final torchbearer,” explained Nendo studio.
“This expresses not only the sun itself, but also the energy and vitality that can be obtained from it, such as plants sprouting, flowers blooming, and hands opening wide toward the sky.”
Olympic flame Tokyo designed with the environment in mind
In a departure from propane as a fuel for the flame, the Tokyo Olympic games will feature a flame fueled for the first time by hydrogen. The hydrogen was produced in Japans Fukushima Prefecture through a process of electrolysis powered by solar energy.
Hydrogen gas unlike propane gas produces an invisible flame, so to create a visible yellow flame sodium carbonate is sprayed upon the flame.
To create the visible, yellow flame sodium carbonate was sprayed into the hydrogen.
“The amount and direction of the aqueous solution sprayed from the vicinity of the burner were repeatedly examined along with the amount of hydrogen and the angle of the valve,” said Nendo.
“We adjusted the movement and shape of the flame to shimmer like firewood was stoked; such an attempt to ‘design flames’ was unprecedented.”
The use of hydrogen to power the Olympic flame was in line with several initiatives to reduce the environmental impact of the games. This year the medals are made from recycled metals and many venues have been reused from previous sporting events.