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London 2012 Olympic Cauldron...


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Atopia issues a statement FURTHER muddying the issue. "They're NOT accusing Heatherwick they say...then whatdahell r they trying to say?? :blink::blink:

This is one confused entity.

From their website...

“We have never accused Thomas Heatherwick of plagiarism. We have never claimed to be designers of the cauldron. We are entirely focused on the issue of how ideas transmit through large organizations, often organically and unconsciously. This becomes an even more complex issue when work and material submitted by small organizations is subject to stringent Confidentiality Agreements. The issue for us is not about the object nor is it about Heatherwick’s design. It does bear a striking resemblance to our project work and sketchbook from 2008 and as such this has been the point of focus of the press. But for us right now this is not the point. It is the written narrative that we are concerned with as this is key component in the way we work, developing scenarios for clients that allow them to imagine possibilities years ahead of time and catalyze thinking within their organizations to deliver socially engaged innovation­­­­. It is the narrative scenario along with our other tender content that we believe proved inspirational at LOCOG and this is what it was intended to do. We have sought a formal acknowledgement for this from LOCOG since July 2012.”

http://atopiainnovation.com/london-2012-press-statement/

'Fess up, LOCOG!!

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Yeah, that was the exact statement I was talking about earlier. They are apparently out of their minds at Atopia and trying to fool everybody with that wishy-washy "Oh, we don't know anymore that we talked about our outrage and our call for legal action earlier" statement. I call that a severe case of attention-whore-ism.

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It doesn't really feature in the "Green and Pleasant" set either. Like Tolkien's hill (and to an extent, like the real Glastonbury Tor) the set features a track winding up one face, not a spiral as shown in the plagiarism-claim design. And you forgot about other things like the whitewashed cottages in the middle.

By the way, on the subtly-evolving cauldron claim- what we need now is a copy of London's original bid, to see how well-developed the "children carrying things concept" was pre-2007.

I'm sorry, but that is ridiculous.

The ceremony tor is designed to look terraced all the way around. The backside of it is against stadium seating and isn't visible. Similarly, the backside of the terraced tor in the sketch isn't visible because it's a single 2-D sketch drawn from one perspective. Either way, the element looks very similar in both situations. You arguing against that seems a bit desperate.

Your patriotism is crowding out common sense.

Very true, this is how it could have happened indeed.

I'm sure that Thomas Heatherwick didn't want to admit that not he himself, but the other members of the ceremonial team came up with "Hey, someone of our staff once told me about an idea of spindles with petals on them, resembling all nations participating in the Games. Couldn't that be a nice concept for a cauldron? Thomas, would you care to evolve that idea?"

And just like you did before: I wonder what the hell Atopia thought when they created their concept: Why should their petal structure become a pavilion outside the Olympic Stadium but be constructed inside the Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremony? What sense does that make if it's only a bloody pavilion but nothing of use for the actual opening ceremony (like a cauldron)? So to cut a long story short: Why didn't they make a cauldron concept out of it in the first place?

That's why I deem their whining about the duplicity of their design and the cauldron design a bit exaggerated - if they wanted to get acknowledgment for having the original idea for the cauldron structure, then they should have bid for designing the cauldron right from the start and not for designing such an abstract "pavilion".

Isn't it curious, though, that the petals have such a similar form?

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That's why I deem their whining about the duplicity of their design and the cauldron design a bit exaggerated - if they wanted to get acknowledgment for having the original idea for the cauldron structure, then they should have bid for designing the cauldron right from the start and not for designing such an abstract "pavilion".

They were NOT invited to submit a cauldron design. It was a very broad "One Planet" Sustainability-type idea ...which could be incorporated into the Opening Ceremony...and by dreaming of a pavilion outside (which would eventually be replaced by trees), it seemed the spex were NOT very limited. But the fact that: (i) the children carrying the 'stems' and walking in with the teams, (ii) the very shape of the petals/umbrellas, AND (iii) the dispersal idea...ALL saw fruition, then the similarities are indeed very obvious and glaring. Plus, instead of holding rain water (part of the sutainability-environmental message) as was the Atopia idea, LOCOG and their hired hands substituted it with fire instead...hoping nobody would notice I guess. Hmmmm....

Also, by the Atopia website, it seems their London subsidiary office was the one who submitted the proposal; but the ideas might've been concieved at the NYC head office.

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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It doesn't really feature in the "Green and Pleasant" set either. Like Tolkien's hill (and to an extent, like the real Glastonbury Tor) the set features a track winding up one face, not a spiral as shown in the plagiarism-claim design. And you forgot about other things like the whitewashed cottages in the middle.

By the way, on the subtly-evolving cauldron claim- what we need now is a copy of London's original bid, to see how well-developed the "children carrying things concept" was pre-2007.

And by the way, I did not forget about the single whitewashed cottage in the middle -- you did.

There is one cottage in the sketch and one in the ceremony set. They are both situated in an identical relationship to the tor.

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And by the way, I did not forget about the single whitewashed cottage in the middle -- you did.

There is one cottage in the sketch and one in the ceremony set. They are both situated in an identical relationship to the tor.

I may split the difference with you on that- one of the TWO separate buildings in the middle of the Olympic set wasn't whitewashed !

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I may split the difference with you on that- one of the TWO separate buildings in the middle of the Olympic set wasn't whitewashed !

Do you hear yourself? Do you see how you are splitting hairs, grasping at straws, etc. It's making your case weaker, not stronger.

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Do you hear yourself? Do you see how you are splitting hairs, grasping at straws, etc. It's making your case weaker, not stronger.

Well, I know what you mean. In this case, you won't lose anything, but in my real world career, people who made that assumption about my attitude to information have made some bad and costly decisions.

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Just took the time to read the Atopia booklet again in detail. A few glaring and inexplicable anomalies (both feasibility-wise and vis-a-vis the Boyle-Heatherwick final product seen on TV) emerged in my mind:

1. the "umbrellas" are supposed to start out from the other 203 nations. How did they get there? It is not explained how these 'structures' (which per the drawings are alike) began their journey in the other lands...looking all alike or similar?? (Were blueprints shipped out? Would there be a factory in Benin or the Maldives that could manufacture the piece to the same specifications like those of the advanced countries?)

2. the "umbrellas" are walked into the Stadium by "bearers" (as I understood it and by the photo) from each country. But it is only inside the stadium that they are then handed OVER to children who would walk them to the 'One Planet' patch in the middle of the infield? :blink: So, the 'platform'/pavilion would be right in the middle of the infield...and stay there until the end of the Games. (Huh? How would T&F competition take place?)

3. The 'pieces' are not designed for fire but to receive rain water.

4. But then after some period of time (not specified), they are then sent back to the original countries. (It seems at the end of the Games.)

However, a 'forest; was to be planted in place? :blink: So, a grove of trees would now permanently sit in the middle of the stadium infield...totally rendering the stadium useless for anything else; and predicating its total demolition to 'honor' the 'bosque' of the 'One Planet' idea? I mean...how utterly non-viable is that idea?? :wacko::wacko:

Granted that these are rough ideas and details could be worked out later; still the general template is the same as the finished result but there are also significant variances to give LOCOG-Boyle enough wiggle room to say that they did not intentionally copy the Atopia ideas. Finally, LOCOG said that they did NOT receive this booklet with images, just text; therefore how could Heatherwick have copied the "petal-like" shape of the final design and the coming together from mere words?

If this goes to court, it'll all depend on how the jury will judge the scope of the "copied" material. But I think it will be a no-win situation if it goes either way; or even a deadlocked jury.

The only thing now for future OCOGs is that their "intellectual copyright" laws in their country must be rather well-defined; and they should NOT solicit ideas so freely and openly. It should be on a 'work-for-hire' basis so they have outright ownership of the submissions and cannot be challenged like this anymore.

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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The only thing now for future OCOGs is that their "intellectual copyright" laws in their country must be rather well-defined; and they should NOT solicit ideas so freely and openly. It should be on a 'work-for-hire' basis so they have outright ownership of the submissions and cannot be challenged like this anymore.

That could get interesting if potential hired creatives are put through some kind of test during the recruitment process, and then rejected. Do they retain copyright in their responses to the test?

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That could get interesting if potential hired creatives are put through some kind of test during the recruitment process, and then rejected. Do they retain copyright in their responses to the test?

Don't even go there. Altho what would drug inducement have to do with the creative results they were hired for? If they produced brilliant, usable ideas; then that's all that matters. Like I'm sure Philippe Decouffle was on some sort of drugs when he conceived the ceremonies for Albertville 1992. ;)

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This is a standard creative issue. Usually when making a pitch, it is incumbent on the creative candidate to lay out the terms under which they are presenting their proposal. Most people understand that it's ethically wrong to take the idea without hiring the firm. Still, there are legal ways to protect yourself. Of course, you have to be financially ready to take action if your terms are breached and many firms are not.

The problem is that creative protection goes out the window with the Olympic Games because of the prestige. It sounds like there was no safeguard in place for the ideas of applicants. They were for forced to gamble that LOCOG would be honorable and LOCOG wasn't.

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This is a standard creative issue. Usually when making a pitch, it is incumbent on the creative candidate to lay out the terms under which they are presenting their proposal. Most people understand that it's ethically wrong to take the idea without hiring the firm. Still, there are legal ways to protect yourself. Of course, you have to be financially ready to take action if your terms are breached and many firms are not.

The problem is that creative protection goes out the window with the Olympic Games because of the prestige. It sounds like there was no safeguard in place for the ideas of applicants. They were for forced to gamble that LOCOG would be honorable and LOCOG wasn't.

But there is also the caveat whenever OCOGs hold open calls, that "... all submissions become the property of the OCOG" and thus, it becomes the lawful copyright owner of the I.P. whether the submitted ideas are used or not. Now whether that dictum can be challenged in court or not, is the crux of the matter.

But in the case of Atopia-petals-LOCOG, I think Atopia doesn't have a strong one. What they submitted was only in text (i.e., words); thus no images. Therefore, how could Heatherwick have copied their design? OK, maybe the 'children escort' idea was lifted from the Atopia submission, but then Atopia's original idea (going by the written text in the booklet they just recently released) of the grove/patch/bosque in the middle of the stadium was utterly ridiculous so as to render their whole package untenable. (And that is where the 'borrowing' may have occurred. The original submission went into the 'Rejected' pile of LOCOG. Some staffer somehow got hold of it; passed it on to someone on the ceremonial team -- not thinking that something from a 'rejected' submission might come back to haunt them. It got thrown into their brain-storming mix. caught traction with the decision-making team, and made the final cut.)

Altho, of course, if you think about it--the idea in itself is NOT original because (i) in christian weddings, children are used as flower girls/boys (if you want to PC about it :rolleyes: ), or the ring or coin bearers; (ii) in coronations, children, as pages or pagettes, are used to bring in the coronets. This is England after all, with their umpteenth coronation and royal wedding, so... ;) Thus, on that idea alone, Atopia can be fully challenged and they cannot claim 'original' ownership of it.

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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Personally, I would never submit a proposal if the proposal became the unrestricted property of the recipient. That's giving away your work for free. Not returning the original materials is understandable and acceptable, but using the ideas free of charge is not.

The ideas are a huge part of the work. Execution matters too, but without good ideas, who cares? Too often non-creatives fail to respect the value of the idea. Either compensate creative professionals for their ideas or don't use them.

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Don't even go there. Altho what would drug inducement have to do with the creative results they were hired for? If they produced brilliant, usable ideas; then that's all that matters. Like I'm sure Philippe Decouffle was on some sort of drugs when he conceived the ceremonies for Albertville 1992. ;)

Erm- I meant tests of qualities like lateral thinking ...

Just took the time to read the Atopia booklet again in detail. A few glaring and inexplicable anomalies (both feasibility-wise and vis-a-vis the Boyle-Heatherwick final product seen on TV) emerged in my mind:

2. the "umbrellas" are walked into the Stadium by "bearers" (as I understood it and by the photo) from each country. But it is only inside the stadium that they are then handed OVER to children who would walk them to the 'One Planet' patch in the middle of the infield? :blink:

Also, if each umbrella has its own stalk, and they are quite small (as shown in Atopia's illustrations), and are "planted" so that they form a complete canopy- how the heck do human beings use the "pavilion" which is actually a thicket of over 200 closely-planted stalks? The concept of "umbrellas" makes some sense until you see the illustrations (beacuse umbrellas traditionally open out from a slim shape to a wide shape), but when you see the pictures it falls apart completely.

I wonder if Athensfan works for Atopia- he too has a remarkable inability to assess a design holistically. B)

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Erm- I meant tests of qualities like lateral thinking ...

Also, if each umbrella has its own stalk, and they are quite small (as shown in Atopia's illustrations), and are "planted" so that they form a complete canopy- how the heck do human beings use the "pavilion" which is actually a thicket of over 200 closely-planted stalks? The concept of "umbrellas" makes some sense until you see the illustrations (beacuse umbrellas traditionally open out from a slim shape to a wide shape), but when you see the pictures it falls apart completely.

I wonder if Athensfan works for Atopia- he too has a remarkable inability to assess a design holistically. B)

Snow, you really don't know what you're talking about. If memory serves, your line of work and your training has nothing to do with design. Do you develop and pitch creative design concepts for a living? Do you navigate the details of the corresponding contracts? I do. Feel free to disagree with my opinion, but I do know what I'm talking about.

You are defensive of all things pertaining to London 2012 and your so-called analysis of the inconsistencies between the work of these recent accusers and the London OC bleeds patriotic desperation.

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The ceremony tor is designed to look terraced all the way around. The backside of it is against stadium seating and isn't visible. Similarly, the backside of the terraced tor in the sketch isn't visible because it's a single 2-D sketch drawn from one perspective. Either way, the element looks very similar in both situations. You arguing against that seems a bit desperate.

I had missed the above until today. A competent design professional would recognise that there are a limited number of possibilities for the interpretation of the hill shown in Mr Sendall's illustration. He depicts no joins between levels of the hill terracing, yet he does show figures on various terraces. He also shows the termination of a spiral (with a return loop) on the summit of the hill. This implies that the terraces also take the form of a spiral, winding round the apparently circular hill from base to summit.

Your inability to interpret a 2-dimensional sketch which contains 3-dimensional information suggests that you know less than you think about design.

Your interpretation of the ceremony tor is similarly incorrect, as several thousand spectators would testify. Overall, your habitual vilification of London 2012 seems a bit desperate.

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I had missed the above until today. A competent design professional would recognise that there are a limited number of possibilities for the interpretation of the hill shown in Mr Sendall's illustration. He depicts no joins between levels of the hill terracing, yet he does show figures on various terraces. He also shows the termination of a spiral (with a return loop) on the summit of the hill. This implies that the terraces also take the form of a spiral, winding round the apparently circular hill from base to summit.

Your inability to interpret a 2-dimensional sketch which contains 3-dimensional information suggests that you know less than you think about design.

Your interpretation of the ceremony tor is similarly incorrect, as several thousand spectators would testify. Overall, your habitual vilification of London 2012 seems a bit desperate.

I've built my own business from nothing. People hire us to create 2-D concept art and then translate those drawings to giant 3-D structures. That is my profession and I have been doing it for years. Attacking me doesn't prove your case.

And, granted, the steps in the sketch are larger, more geometric and less artful than those in the final set, but the core of the concept is absolutely in tact. Adding the raked transitional steps was a very minor adjustment. The concept as a whole IS distinctive. Once expects the rice paddy look in Bali -- not in the UK.

I have not vilified London's OC. I simply didn't care for it. I have nothing to gain via London's disappointment. Truthfully, having lived in the UK and having enormous respect for their theater tradition, I was disappointed on London's behalf. I have been itching to get back to London for years and haven't been able to find the time. I miss London intensely and I have no axe to grind.

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granted, the steps in the sketch are larger, more geometric and less artful than those in the final set, but the core of the concept is absolutely in tact. Adding the raked transitional steps was a very minor adjustment. The concept as a whole IS distinctive. Once expects the rice paddy look in Bali -- not in the UK.

There you go- the "rice paddy look" is, in a sense, what you see in Sendall's design, (ignoring the detail that it's a continuous spiral) but it's absolutely not what can be seen in the Olympic Tor. In that design the "raked transitional steps" ARE THE CONCEPT, and routes are zig-zag, not spiral. The zig-zag is also clearly seen in Tolkien's illustration, and the ridge of the real Glastonbury Tor provides the same functionality. Those are two completely different design philosophies for a route up a hill !

And have you not considered the simple statistics- "The Hobbit" was a very well-known book when all the individuals involved were growing up (I still have my 1960s copy) and it is actually more likely that Sendall was influenced by Tolkien than that Boyle & Co. were influenced by Sendall and not by Tolkien.

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