Decoding Design

Video: Engineering the 2012 Olympics

Video: Engineering the 2012 Olympics

Posting in Architecture

They are insanely costly and blanketed in marketing, but the London Olympic Games are also an impressive feat of engineering.

The 2012 Olympic Games start in two weeks, and they've already been roundly criticized for going well over early budget estimates -- clocking in around 11 billion at the moment, versus early projections of 3 billion -- and for greenwashing. (And for overspending and greenwashing at the same time.) Those types of criticisms are de rigueur in all Games, which is not to say they're undeserved.

But Olympic Games tend to be, at the end of the day, inspiring. That inspiration comes from the athletic prowess of the participants, clearly, but also from the infrastructure development.

We've been closely covering the architecture around the Games. All those new buildings and developments need foundations and (often new) infrastructure. For the London Games, the Institute of Civil Engineers has pulled together an 8 minute show & tell video that toots that infrastructure's horn.

It toots that horn very loudly, but if you can ignore the strong self-promotional bent, there are some interesting tidbits of information and great imagery that serve to tell the story of how London has transformed itself to prepare for an event that will last for just 16 short days.

Via: Product Design & Development

Image: Stephen Craven

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Mary Catherine O'Connor

Contributing Writer

Mary Catherine O'Connor has written for Outside, Fast Company, Wired.com, Smithsonian.com, Entrepreneur, Earth2Tech.com, Earth Island Journal and The Magazine. She is based in San Francisco. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure