The word legacy has had much lip-service of late. Insatiable design explorer and director of the documentary trilogy Helvetica, Objectified and Urbanized, Gary Hustwit and photographer Jon Pack have been travelling the globe documenting the forgotten relics of Olympic cities asking, what happens to a city after the Olympics are gone?
"Some former Olympic sites are retrofitted and used in ways that belie their grand beginnings; turned into prisons, housing, malls, gyms, churches. Others sit unused for decades and become tragic time capsules, examples of misguided planning and broken promises of the benefits that the Games would bring. After the events are over, the medals have been handed out and the torch is extinguished, what's next? What happens to a city after the Olympics are gone?"
Brooklyn-based photographer Jon Pack has teamed up with director Gary Hustwit, whose design documentary trilogy, starting with the font-fanatical Helevtica, followed by industrial design insight Objectified and most recently Urbanized, have each succeeded in illuminating just how "designed" the world around is, everything from the font on your phone, to the chair you're sat on to the pavements you walk.
Hustwait's latest design endeavour, The Olympic City, continues on from the city planning insight of Urbanized with a timely look at the legacy of the Olympic Games in former host cities around the world. Since 2008, Pack and Hustwit have sought out and photographed the successes and failures, the forgotten remnants and ghosts of the Olympic spectacle. Thus far they've documented Athens, Barcelona, Mexico City, Los Angeles, Montreal, Lake Placid, Rome, and Sarajevo, with plans to document Beijing, Moscow, Berlin, London, and other Olympic cities. The final city will be selected by those who help the project through donations on their Kickstarter page. The project will culminate with a book in 2013.