The Trophy Maker

On October 28,even as the winners of the Indian Grand Prix celebrate their victory,Michael Foley will,perhaps,cheer the loudest.

Written by VIDYA PRABHU | Published: October 20, 2012 2:40:21 am

On October 28,even as the winners of the Indian Grand Prix celebrate their victory,Michael Foley will,perhaps,cheer the loudest. He is no devoted Formula One (F1),follower,but has designed the trophies for the F1 event, slated to be held at the Buddh International Circuit in Noida. “Formula One is an interesting combination of sports,technology,glamour,entertainment and youth. So,designing the trophy for the Airtel Indian Grand Prix this year was an exciting challenge that I was happy to take on,” says the Bangalore-based product designer.

Interestingly,this is the first time that an Indian designer has been roped in to design the trophies. The inaugural edition of the Indian Grand Prix,held last year,had British silversmith Richard Fox helm the project. For Foley,it was a welcome experience. “The idea was to capture the country’s culture and blend it with a dynamic,futuristic vision,” he says.

An alumnus of the National Institute of Design,Foley is among the country’s topmost names in the field of product design. Before branching out on his own,he headed the Titan Design Studio. His firm has also created the baton for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

For the Grand Prix trophies,Foley says it was a conscious effort on his part to come up with a design that drew from both contemporary as well as traditional India. “We are known for making products that are rooted to the Indian identity. This time,too,we have stayed true to our design philosophy,” says Foley. For instance,the trophies make use of new-age materials such as aircraft-grade aluminium and,at the same time,boast of traditional ornamentation in form of a red enamel filled engraving on the side. This depicts a ‘victory procession’ inscription from ancient Indian architecture.

All the four trophies — three for the F1 drivers and one for the winning constructor — have a unique touch. The internal surface of each trophy has a mirror finish while the outer surface is all matte. “The base foundation,on the other hand,bears an Ashoka Chakra that denotes speed. All trophies bear the same design,the only difference being their size — with the biggest trophy being awarded to the winner,” Foley states.

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