Friday Review » Art

Updated: November 5, 2013 16:40 IST

The trophy shows it all

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Sleek lines from Michael Foley. Photo: Bhagya Prakash K.
The Hindu
Sleek lines from Michael Foley. Photo: Bhagya Prakash K.

For Michael Foley, an award-winning industrial designer, the simpler the idea, the better the design

Michael Foley, owner of Foley Designs Private Limited, has had many milestones in his career, including designing the Queen’s Baton for the 2010 Commonwealth Games and the 2012 Indian Formula 1 Grand Prix trophy.

This year, too, he designed the 2013 Indian Formula 1 Grand Prix trophy. “Last year’s trophy represented a victory procession of old India. This year I have incorporated the colours of the Indian flag.

“I conceptualised the Ashoka Chakra to symbolise that the Grand Prix is an Indian event of an international sport. There is a fusion of Formula 1, the brand and youth. It signifies the visibility of India on a global platform, how forward-looking the country is.”

If you have seen pictures of Sebastian Vettel holding this year’s trophy, you would have noticed the sleek design and a predominance of red and black.

“The race represents endurance, precision and speed. I wanted to connect to India and the brand, so I used anodised aluminium and combined metallic red and black.”

We often associate trophies with old-fashioned silver cups. But with this trophy, Michael has changed the perception surrounding trophies.

“We moved from silver to aluminium and this has led to a whole new interpretation of trophies. The cup becomes a symbol, a larger-than-life in terms of expression.”

Michael speaks of the process that went into designing the trophy. “It was a team effort. Each person brought a specific skill set. We encouraged collaborative thinking. Engineers and manufacturing partners had conceptually helped us in the best output.”

Even though designing the trophy involved many different processes, Michael adds, “There’s a human interpretation to everything, and that’s what brings the cup together.”

It took about three months for the trophy to be completed. “Conceptualisation happened over a month, the second month was refinement of engineering and in the third month, we refined the trophy by removing redundancies.” Says Michael. Speaking about the 2010 Commonwealth Queen’s Baton, Michael says, “The design brought together craftsmanship and machining.” Michael believes the more simple the idea, the better the design. “I also like to keep re-inventing and not get stuck in a rut of creating the same thing.”

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