Commonwealth Games 2022: Meet the team who designed The Queen’s Baton Relay

Cutting edge technology will see The Queen’s Baton Relay capture data and stories as it travels through 72 Commonwealth nations and territories

<p>Commonweath Games Queens Baton Design Team: L-R: Karen Newman, Founder & Director Birmingham Open Media; Tom Osman, Director of Raymont-Osman Product Design; Laura Nyahuye, Artist and CEO of MAOKWO; Karl Hamlin, Managing Director of Kajul</p>

Commonweath Games Queens Baton Design Team: L-R: Karen Newman, Founder & Director Birmingham Open Media; Tom Osman, Director of Raymont-Osman Product Design; Laura Nyahuye, Artist and CEO of MAOKWO; Karl Hamlin, Managing Director of Kajul

Artists and design experts across the West Midlands have created The Baton with stunning attention to detail and skill.

Paying homage to a first ever Commonwealth Games to award more medals to women than men it pays homage to “the strength and fortitude” of women.

As the Baton travels on its journey and tells stories from communities, the warm copper tones of the Baton will develop a mesmerising patina - a blue-green film that forms on the material after exposure - so it will evolve in appearance as it is passed from Batonbearer to Batonbearer.

Etched onto a steel plaque on the top of the Baton is the Birmingham 2022 logo, a distinctive ‘B’ shape which is a visual representation of communities across the West Midlands. The Commonwealth Games Federation logois also visible on the Baton, an emblem that reflects the key values of humanity, equality and destiny.

The Queens Baton for the Commonwealth Games 2022

Here’s how are some of the key members of the team created The Baton:

The artist

Laura Nyahuye; Artist and CEO at Maokwo, said: “Coming into this project as an artist, mother, and advocate who is passionate about social justice for with women, migrants, and young people, was an intense yet enlightening experience.

“Bringing in Maokwo’s young people with links from the Commonwealth countries, my heritage, design and concept, weaving in textures and storytelling, into the Baton design was crucial, as well as instigating honest conversations around the Commonwealth countries.

“My prayer is the Baton creates a rhythmic heartbeat of peace, love, and a hunger to connect beyond our skin tones and ethnicities."

The designer

Tom Osman, Director of Raymont-Osman Product Design, said:“Raymont-Osman Product Design is thrilled to have designed and manufactured The Queen’s Baton.

“We are incredibly proud of our Midlands’ heritage and this process has enabled us engage with many talented members of our wider community, whilst experimenting with new techniques and methods to create a baton that truly reflects the character and heritage of the region.”

Tech experts

Karen Newman, Founder/Director of BOM, said: “BOM is proud to have developed the technology for the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton, the first true ‘smart Baton’. “By incorporating meaningful technologies into the design, we can celebrate grassroots innovation happening right across the Commonwealth, and give a platform to those driving change within their communities.

!Working with our partners at the University of Birmingham, the Baton will also spark important discussions around pressing environmental issues which call for global action.”

The manufacturers

Karl Hamlin, Managing Director of Kajul, said: “It’s been a pleasure for all at Kajul to work on manufacturing the Baton, we have all enjoyed working with a creative team from all around the West Midlands.

“I hope all of our work touches on the countries of the Commonwealth, inspiring many. It’s been a highlight in my career that I will treasure.”

The academic

Professor Francis Pope, from the University of Birmingham, said: “Atmospheric data captured during the Baton’s global journey will be highly valuable in starting important conversations around air quality across the Commonwealth.

“We’re proud to provide scientific advice on creating the baton’s ‘lungs’ and the data collected will be particularly relevant to our ongoing research partnerships in East Africa and India, where we’re investigating the impact of air quality on citizens.”