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SBD Global/June 24, 2013/Olympics

N.Y. Design Firm Says Thomas Heatherwick's Olympic Cauldron Plagiarized

N.Y.-based design studio Atopia Co-Dir Jane Harrison said that "as gasps of awe and wonder echoed around the world" during the presentation of Thomas Heatherwick's Olympic cauldron last July, "there were gasps of a different kind" at Atopia's offices, according to Oliver Wainwright of the London GUARDIAN. Harrison: "We were absolutely furious. It looked identical to something we had proposed to the London Olympic committee back in 2007, after which we hadn't heard anything." LOCOG "originally approached Atopia, whose motto is 'anticipate the future,' to come up with ideas for a One Planet pavilion." Harrison said, "We devised a structure of petals on tall stems, which would travel from all of the participating countries, then be brought into the stadium by the children." Atopia's structure "was designed to collect rainwater and generate power from solar cells rather than burning a constant supply of natural gas, but their sketches and models bear an uncanny resemblance to Heatherwick's design." A Heatherwick spokesperson said, "This has come completely out of the blue. We have never seen this project before, nor were we made aware of it by LOCOG." Atopia "is only now free to make its claims, having been gagged by a restrictive non-disclosure agreement since 2007 that prevented all companies from promoting any work related to the Olympics" (GUARDIAN, 6/19)
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