Albertville 1992, torch

Philippe Starck1992

The Olympic Museum

The Olympic Museum

For the first time in the history of the Olympic Games, a designer was asked to create the torch: Frenchman Philippe Starck. The idea was to make this a rare and valuable object. Starck responded to the challenge with a design in stainless steel notable for its purity of form and aerodynamic lines. Starck created a torch-sculpture along lines familiar from his other work (toothbrush, door handle, vases in the Etrangetés series, etc.), using his favourite material.

This torch had to be resistant to all the weather conditions on the way and able to be carried by young people; it also had to conform to the overall visual identity of the relay (youth, dynamism, white and grey predominant). The burner worked on gas for safety reasons.

The torch, nicknamed “the horn”, weighs 1.4kg. The system is based on an ingenious 12-piece puzzle. Composed of half-shells, the main body of the torch is in stainless steel. A cowl, simply clipped to the body, and a ring inside onto which the burner is screwed make it easy and quick to change the gas container.

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  • Title: Albertville 1992, torch
  • Date Created: 1992
  • Location Created: France
  • Physical Dimensions: w80 x h415 cm (Complete)
  • Designer: Philippe Starck
  • Description: Caption: "XVIes Jeux Olympiques d'hiver 1992" and Games emblem. Production number: 160:130.
  • Artistic school or movement: Philippe Starck, the French product designer, is probably the best known designer in the New Design style. His creations range from spectacular interior designs to mass produced consumer goods such as toothbrushes, chairs and even houses. After being educated in Paris at the Ecole Camondo, Philippe Starck founded his first design firm. In 1969, he became art director of his firm along with Pierre Cardin. Starck was the most popular designer of the 80s, and incredibly versatile. He designed pasta for Panzani, a toothbrush for Fluocaril, kitchen utensils for Alessi and lamps for Decaux, and he also designed the now defunct Café Coste in Paris, as well as hotels in Tokyo, New York and Madrid. For the Albertville 1992 torch, the Organising Committee approached Philippe Starck, who also designed the Olympic cauldron that held the flame that was kindled in Olympia and burned throughout the 16 days of the Games.
  • Type: Torch
  • Rights: International Olympic Committee, ©IOC/G.Peter
  • Medium: Stainless steel