Barber & Osgerby

Internationally acclaimed designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby founded their eponymous studio in 1996 after graduating with Master’s degrees in Architecture from The Royal College of Art in London. From their first studio in Trellick Tower in London, they designed their first piece, the Loop Table, produced by Isokon in 1997. Much of Barber and Osgerby’s early work involved the folding and shaping of sheet material, influenced by the white card that they had used frequently in architectural model making. Plywood and perspex were used in the development of the Pilot Table, 1999, and Stencil Screen, 2000.

In 2004 the pair were awarded the Jerwood Applied Arts Prize. This led to a commission to design new pieces for the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill On Sea. Known for their use of colour, with the limited edition Iris tables, Barber and Osgerby developed a new direction, using colour as the starting point for the work. The same year saw the launch of Tab for Flos, a return to the folded form. In 2009, Barber and Osgerby launched their first major commission for Murano glassmakers Venini which resulted in a series of unique, large-scale glass vases, created in limited editions and shown in Milan, Porto Cervo and London.
2010 saw the creation of an experimental installation for Sony at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan. Through a series of conceptual objects that exploited Sony’s new sound technologies, a perspective was presented for how electronics could be better integrated within contemporary home interiors. Another investigation, this time into school furniture and how dynamic movement in a chair can aid concentration, resulted in the forward-tilting Tip Ton chair launched with Vitra in 2011. The same year, Barber and Osgerby were appointed to design the London 2012 Olympic Torch.
Barber and Osgerby’s research-led practice has developed collections for Vitra, B&B Italia, Venini, Cappellini, Magis, Swarovski, Flos and Established & Sons, whilst also producing edition furniture and one-off works for both private and public commissions. Both Honorary Doctors of Arts, Barber and Osgerby have lectured internationally and hosted workshops at Ecal, Switzerland, and the Vitra Design Museum. Their work is held in permanent collections around the world including the V&A Museum, London; New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art; London’s Design Museum; and the Art Institute of Chicago. Alongside their eponymous studio, in 2001 Barber and Osgerby founded Universal Design Studio, now recognised as one of the world’s most innovative creative design consultancies working in architecture, interiors and exhibition design. In 2012, the pair followed this with the launch of MAP, a strategy-based industrial design studio that draws on the creative and commercial skills of BarberOsgerby to provide design intuition, creative direction and research to ambitious clients.

Select awards:

  • 2013 Maison & Objet: Designers of the Year
  • 2013 German Design Award, Tip Ton
  • 2013 Wallpaper* Design Awards: Designer of the Year (Shortlisted)
  • 2013 Wallpaper* Design Awards: Best Dining Table, Tobi Ishi
  • 2013 Design Guild Mark, Tip Ton
  • 2013 Design Guild Mark, Knoll Collection
  • 2012 Design Museum: Design of the Year, London Olympic Torch
  • 2012 Design Museum: Product Design of the Year, London Olympic Torch
  • 2012 World Technology Award for Design
  • 2012 D&AD Yellow Pencil (Product Design), Tip Ton
  • 2012 Icon Magazine Awards: Design Studio of the Year
  • 2012 Elle Decoration British Design Award, London Olympic Torch
  • 2012 Conde Nast Traveller Innovation & Design Award, London Olympic Torch
  • 2012 Design Week Award (Furniture Design), Tip Ton
  • 2011 The Chicago Athenaeum: GOOD DESIGN Award, Tip Ton
  • 2011 FX Design Awards: Product of the Year, Tip Ton
  • 2010 FX Design Awards: Best Museum/Exhibition Space (Finalist), Sony
  • 2010 Design Museum Designs of the Year (Finalist), Sony
  • 2009 Wallpaper*: Best Floor Lamp, Tab
  • 2008 Wallpaper*: Best Domestic Product, Bottle Table
  • 2007 Royal Designers for Industry
  • 2007 Elle Decoration Magazine: Designer of the Year
  • 2006 Design Basel/Miami: Designers of the Future with Established & Sons
  • 2006 Red Dot Award: Best Product, Zero-In
  • 2006 Homes & Gardens Classic Design Awards, Zero-In
  • 2005 Blueprint Magazine: Furniture Designer of Year
  • 2004 Jerwood Prize for Applied Arts
  • 2004 ADI Compasso d’Oro Nomination, Shell Table
  • 2004 Design Week Awards: Best Furniture Design
  • 2003 FX Design Awards: Product of the Year, Stella McCartney ceramic tile
  • 2003 ID Magazine Design Awards, Stella McCartney ceramic tile
  • 2001 Victoria & Albert Museum Design Awards, Home table
  • 1998 ICFF Editors Award: Best New Designer