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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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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