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Barber & Osgerby: between functionality, simplicity and elegance

Barber & Osgerby: between functionality, simplicity and elegance

Icon of English design, the Barber & Osgerby duo invites you to discover, in a new light, the universe of artistic design. Awarded many times, his particularity is to explore new materials while respecting the functionality and sobriety of the creations he imagines. Focus on these two extraordinary artists.

Internationally renowned, the two creators met at the Royal College of Art in London. Born in 1969, in Shrewsbury, Edward Barber trained in interior architecture. Born the same year in Oxford, Jay Osgerby, studied product design. It was in 1996, a year after graduating, that they opened their studio. However, their meteoric rise only begins when they present their Loop table, as part of 100% Design. In curved wood, built around a void, it was quickly spotted by the famous Giulio Cappellini who, from then on, put their foot in the stirrup. And their table has since appeared in the permanent collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, as well as at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. Pragmatic, favoring an aesthetic in the service of simplicity and function, the duo from across the Channel has no shortage of requests. He designs, draws and signs original objects and products that every user will wish to have. Each time, the triumph is there. Just for example, less than a year after its creation, their Tip Ton chair, developed for Vitra, is a huge success. Originally intended for a primary school, it quickly spread to colleges and universities…

It was to manage its architectural projects that the duo founded, in 2001, the Universal Design Studio, as well as the MAP, an office for the strategic design development. Knowing that, from 2004, the color appeared in its production. Considered today as the flower of British design, the two designers have, from project to project, broadened the scope of their work. The latter encompasses the design of products and limited series, furniture and lighting, as well as public commissions such as the 2012 Olympic torch or the work carried out for the United Kingdom Mint (Royal Mint). Approaching new creative fields, they extend their inventiveness to the design of showrooms, shop design and hotels. At the same time, their circle of customers is growing, including internationally leading brands in the field, such as Knoll, Cappellini, B&B Italia, Flos, Sony, Swarovski, as well as the German label Vitra.

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Contemporary concept, sober and elegant lines, colors and muted tones resolutely in tune with the times, noble and quality materials… The multiple creations designed and sculpted by Terry Dwan have everything to seduce us. Take a look at this outstanding talent. An architect and designer at the same time, Terry Dawn has, for a long time, established his notoriety on the international scene, thanks to his remarkable style. Based in Milan, this native American but adopted Italian uses a language of her own. Born in 1957, in Santa Monica, California, United States, she began her career after studying engineering and architecture at Rice University, Houston, in addition to training in Fine Arts at Studio Arts Center International (SACI) in Florence, Italy. The designer, who won the Fulbright Fellowship to study the architecture of cemeteries and war monuments in Italy, graduated from Yale University in Architecture in 1984. After an experience alongside Antonio Citterio, with whom she collaborated from 1985 to 1996 and founded the Citterio/Dwan office, working on several projects and residential complexes, fairs and exhibitions, notably in Switzerland, Japan, Germany and Italy, she opened her own design agency in 1992 and got involved in great designs, whether in architecture or decoration. A book entitled Antonio Citterio & Terry Dwan: Ten years of Architecture and Design, signed by Pippo Ciorra, was published on the occasion of the exhibition that the duo organized in Bordeaux in 1993. At the same time, it multiplies design projects for the biggest publishers and won numerous awards at international competitions. In 1996, she began by developing industrial design plans for firms such as Sawaya and Moroni, Electrolux, San Lorenzo and Driade. An accomplished designer, she juggles with forms, materials and concepts, questions obvious codes, experiments and explores eclectic universes: from the architecture of private residences, public buildings and interior decoration, through the design and the from salon and exhibition design to furniture and porcelain or silver objects, she is interested in everything and comes out with flying colors. Marrying current vision with everyday functionality, some of her works are part of the permanent collection of the Design Museum at the Milan Triennale. Passionate, her career is marked by numerous explorations of the material where wood, her material of choice, occupies a privileged place. She enjoys working with it revealing its multiple aesthetic qualities, through several everyday basics, many models of which have become emblematic, such as Maui, seat in scented cedar wood, edited by Riva 1920, and the Napa armchair, object oscillating between functional piece of furniture and biomorphic sculpture, or even Implement, a desk composed of two juxtaposed and misaligned wooden boards. Her collaboration with Driade is crowned by the timeless Burgos and Bedda sofas. A sought-after speaker around the world, Terry Dwan has taught architecture at SACI, Florence, and co-taught architectural heritage conservation at the University of Milan. Since 2006, she has been Dean of the Council of the School of Architecture at Yale University and a member of the SACI Board of Trustees.

In collaboration with Axor, they revisited the theme of the bathroom, which in 2015 led to the Axor One Shower Program present in all the collections. With Stella MacCartney, they collaborate for the Bruton Street store in London on a series of geometric pattern tiles. Selfridge, Paul Smith and Damien Hirst are also among their clients. For Established & Sons, they designed the Panoramic sofa, with a comfortable, modular seating system and a rigid polyurethane foam backrest. For Flos, they developed the Tab halogen lamp, sketched like the propeller of a submarine. Timeless, their everyday objects reflect a mixture of simplicity and elegance, an exercise that the two Englishmen master as well in the industrial field as in designer furniture or pieces designed in limited editions.

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