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Why were the 1984 LA Olympics one of the most successful ever?

Leo Duran

John Simones, co-CEO of The Jerde Partnership, stands with one of the colorful cardboard colonnades that were spread throughout all of southern California during the 1984 Olympics.

Leo Duran

This colorful scaffolding tower is displayed in this brochure. The LA Olympics was in part successful through the creative, inexpensive use of materials like this.

Leo Duran

This Thank You placard presented to The Jerde Partnership includes the message, "More magenta, more magenta, more magenta!" Magenta was the main color in the scheme used during the 1984 LA Olympics.

Leo Duran

A silk screened banner showcases the highlighter-like colors used in the 1984 LA Olympics.

Leo Duran

This brochure showcases the "kit of parts" designed by The Jerde Partnership. The kit was a guideline used during the 1984 LA Olympics to make sure all aspects of the games and its presentation had a unified look despite being spread throughout the entire region.


The Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, will wrap up this Sunday, but they came at a remarkable price: It cost an estimated $50 billion to hold them, one of the most expensive games ever.

For all the great global attention the Games can bring to a city, being a host can be a financial strain. Montreal, for example, hosted the 1976 Summer Games and took 30 years to pay off its debt.

However, one notable exception is the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles. It's sometimes called the most successful games ever. That's because a combination of already-existing infrastructure and the constraints of a tight budget allowed the designers to not be dragged down by construction delays and overruns.

At the forefront of that effort was the design firm The Jerde Partnership. Co-CEO John Simones, then a designer with the company, explained to A Martinez about the philosophies and secrets that help make those Olympics a triumph.

 


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