Heavy Medal: Vancouver’s Recycled Tech Olympic Medals

When Toronto campaigned to be the host city for the 2010 Winter Olympics, they did so on a platform of sustainability. The city is known as a progressive place with a strong environmental policy, so when they were awarded the Olympics they set to work greening the entire affair. One of the steps in making the Olympics greener was commissioning recycled medals. But the unique medals aren’t made out of any old recycled material: they use components of old electronics. The discarded computers, cell phones and other gadgets of Canadian consumers will soon adorn the necks of Olympic and Paralympic winners.

Our friends at Motherboard covered the production of these amazing medals, designed by industrial designer Omer Arbel and artist Corinne Hunt. Each medal is a unique work of art that can be put together with the rest of the medals to create one massive art piece. Besides being absolutely beautiful, the medals represent a new era of sustainability and environmental responsibility for Canada – and hopefully the world. Choosing to use discarded electronics instead of newly mined metal sends a strong message: it’s not necessary to use all new materials to create something truly wonderful and long-lasting.

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See more in Art of Tech or under Technology. February, 2010.