Racing with the trophy

Michael Foley’s trophy for Indian Formula 1 racing symbolises a forward looking India in a global event,

Published: 26th October 2013 11:26 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th October 2013 11:26 AM   |  A+A-

With Delhi gearing up for the much awaited Formula 1 Indian Grand Prix event, Bangalore too does its bit by creating the trophy. Collaborating with telecom major Airtel for the second year in a row, well known product designer Michael Foley has worked on creating the trophy for about three months.

“It took us a month to refine our ideas,” says Foley, adding that the other two months went into experimenting with different materials, engineering and manufacturing.

Moving away from the trend of using precious metals, the designers have chosen to use aluminium instead. “On the podium, when the trophy is being given away to the winner, being in the limelight, it’s our chance to represent India. It will be visible on a global level, so the trophy is an important part of the message that we send across the world about India,” shares Foley.

Symbolic representation

With 24 slivers of metal around the cup, to represent the spokes around the Ashoka Chakra, the trophy aims at a symbolic representation of the nation. “We chose to work with aluminium because it’s easier to analyse colours to them.

We’ve used a lot of red to represent the spirit of car racing as well as Airtel and black. So the trophy is actually a representation of a forward looking India,” he explains.

Having designed the last year’s F1 trophy as well as the Commonwealth baton, Foley says that creating this trophy has been a different experience for him and the team from the earlier ones. “We always  capitalise on our previous experiences, but not by using a tried and tested method. So each trophy is like a product to us, it has to be fitting for the occasion and so it’s designed for,” says the architect-turned-product designer.

Design concepts

Making his home in Bangalore for the past 19 years, Foley says his journey towards product designing began with water colours. “I think I got it from my father. He used to paint though he was in the army,” he recalls. Later in school, he often took up projects ‘to work with his hands’ and later joined architecture. But it was later, as a student of National Institute of Design that he found his calling in product designing.

But he still has one more dream: “To collaborate with schools and introduce the concepts of design and design thinking in schools, long before children go off to college or start thinking about career.”

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