Matthew Gin (PhD student) was awarded the Philip Hofer Prize for Collecting Books or Art. Inspired by his collection of objects from the 1972 Munich Olympics, Gin focused his winning essay, Between West Germany and the World: Design at the 1972 Munich Olympics, on how design transformed the Games into an opportunity for West Germany to reintroduce itself to the world as a peaceful and democratic nation following the trauma of World War II.
Of particular interest was how West German graphic designer Otl Aicher created a visual identity for the Games consisting of bright colors and politically neutral symbols that were then reproduced in a variety of different forms. Ranging from paper napkins to plush toys, these objects could be carried away by visitors from around the world as material ambassadors of the reimagined West Germany.
The jury praised Gin’s entry for how his “diverse and well-chosen collection of ephemera offered a vivid picture of the role of design as a means of branding the Games.” The collection will be on display at Lamont Library during the 2013–2014 academic year.