CLIENTJAPAN SPORT COUNCIL
For the exhibition race “ONE RACE” which was held as part of the opening event of Japan’s New National Stadium held in December 2019, we were in charge of the art direction and production of the batons and wheelchair runners’ baton system.
The concept for the race was “to destroy the various walls made by humanity in the past and become one with all of the human race”, and was the first exhibition race of humanity, in which participants stepped beyond the borders of gender, disability and able-bodied, stood at the same starting line, passed batons, and competed with one another. Many gold medallists and world record holders participated, from the legendary track and field gold medallist Usain Bolt, to the Paralympic athletes Hannah Cockcroft, Jonnie Peacock, and Marlou van Rhijn.
The specially-developed batons used in this race were ring-shaped, unlike normal batons. To make them easier to pass on, they were developed through repeated research and prototyping, such as making the cross-section an elliptical shape, and surrounding them with a mesh pattern for a better grip. This elaborate design was created with 3D printing technology and was successful in balancing practicality and design.
In addition, prototyping and development was carried out repeatedly for the batons and baton holders for the wheelchair runners, so that the athletes would be able to pass the batons without using their hands. In the end, sensing and wireless LED technology was used in the baton holders, so that when the previous runner passed the baton, the baton holder would light up, establishing the connection between the runners.
In an interview, Usain Bolt said, “You’re making not only just men and women but also Paralympians together. So for me, this is a start in the right direction.” Various boundary lines are shifted, all walls are removed, and everyone becomes one. In ONE RACE, we took the first step toward this grand challenge.
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Cresta Awards 2020