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British designers Edward Barber, OBE, RDI, and Jay Osgerby, OBE, RDI established Barber Osgerby, a London-based industrial design studio established in 1996.

Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby's multidisciplinary portfolio encompasses furniture, lighting and product design as well as art and architectural-scale projects. They are both Royal Designers for Industry (RDI) and are past recipients of the Jerwood Applied Arts prize. Both are Honorary Doctors of Arts, and Osgerby is an Honorary Fellow of Ravensbourne. The pair have lectured internationally and their work is held in permanent collections around the world including the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; London's Design Museum; and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Significant recent projects include the Tip Ton chair for Vitra (2011), the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Torches, and a £2 coin commemorating the 150th anniversary of the London Underground in 2013.

Barber and Osgerby are also founders of Universal Design Studio, a London-based architecture and interior design studio, and MAP, a London-based industrial design consultancy focused on design strategy.


Edward Barber (born 1969, Shrewsbury, England) studied interior design at Leeds Polytechnic. Jay Osgerby (born 1969, Oxford, England), completed a foundation art programme at Oxford Brookes University and studied product design at Ravensbourne College in London. The two met while studying for their Master's degrees in Architecture at London's Royal College of Art. After graduating, they set up their studio in Trellick Tower, West London, and from there designed their first furniture piece, the Loop Table, manufactured by Isokon (the first new piece to be added to the Isokon range in over 40 years).[1] The Loop Table was shown at the London Design Fair in 1997 and spotted by Giulio Cappellini, catalysing a long working relationship between the designers and the renown Italian furniture producer. The Loop was introduced into the Cappellini collection in 1998 and a series of products were subsequently developed, bringing early international acclaim to Barber and Osgerby.


Barber and Osgerby have developed collections for B&B Italia, Flos, Vitra, Magis, Cappellini, Swarovski, Venini and Established & Sons, among others. They have also designed works for private commissions, and for public spaces such as the De La Warr Pavilion, The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), and the Portsmouth Cathedral.

Much of Barber & 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.[2] The Loop Table, Flight Stool (1998, Isokon) and Pilot Table (1999, Cappellini) were all moulded from sheet plywood, as was the experimental Hula Stool prototype (1999), a complex assemblage of compound curves. The Shell Table (2000) (nominated for the Compasso d'oro) and Shell Chair (2001) were further structural studies in folded plywood.

In 2002 the pair were asked to design furniture for the 13th century Portsmouth Cathedral and in 2004 they were awarded the Jerwood Applied Arts Prize. This led to a commission to design furniture for the newly restored modernist De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea. Barber and Osgerby's De La Warr Pavilion chair is now held in the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago's permanent collections.

The Zero-In table was produced by Established & Sons in 2005 as part of the British design company's launch collection. The table's construction employed automotive industry techniques never before applied to furniture manufacturing. In 2007 Barber and Osgerby were commissioned to design the entrance foyer desk for the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in Portland Place, London, and the same year they returned to the folded form with the launch of their Tab lamp for Flos.

The limited edition Iris tables were created in 2008 for the Established & Sons gallery. Known for their use of colour, with Iris Barber and Osgerby developed a new direction, using colour as the starting point for the work. In 2009 Barber and Osgerby launched their first major commission for Murano glassmakers Venini; a limited edition collection of large vases composed of coloured interlocking components.

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 employed Sony's new sound technologies, a perspective was presented for how electronics could be better integrated within contemporary home interiors.[3] Another investigation, this time into school furniture and how movement in a chair can aid concentration, resulted in the forward-tilting Tip Ton chair launched with Vitra in 2011.

In 2011 Barber and Osgerby were appointed by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) to design the London 2012 Olympic Torch. The Torch was named the Design Museum's 2012 Design of the Year.

2012 saw works in marble including the pair's first design for B&B Italia, the sculptural cantilevered Tobi Ishi table, and the Western Façade bench, commissioned to commemorate ten years of the London Design Festival and exhibited during the festival in the Victoria & Albert Museum's John Madejski Garden.

Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby were both appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2013 Birthday Honours for services to the design industry.[4][5]


  • 2013 Maison & Objet Designers of the Year
  • 2013 German Design Award (German Design Council), Tip Ton
  • 2013 Wallpaper* Design Awards: Designer of the Year (Shortlisted)
  • 2013 Wallpaper* Design Awards: Best Dining Table, Tobi Ishi
  • 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 Elle Decoration British Design Award, London Olympic Torch
  • 2012 Icon Magazine: Design Studio of the Year
  • 2011 The Chicago Athenaeum: GOOD DESIGN Award, Tip Ton
  • 2011 FX Design Awards: Product of the Year, Tip Ton
  • 2010 Design Museum: Designs of the Year Nomination, Sony exhibition
  • 2008 Wallpaper*: Best Domestic Product, Bottle Table
  • 2008 Elle Decoration (Japan): Young Designers of the Year
  • 2007 Elle Decoration: Designer of the Year
  • 2006 Red Dot Award: Best Product, Zero-In
  • 2006 Design Basel/Miami: Designers of the Future
  • 2005 Blueprint Magazine: Furniture Designer of Year
  • 2004 ADI Compasso d’Oro Nomination, Shell Table
  • 2004 Jerwood Prize for Applied Arts
  • 2001 Victoria & Albert Museum Design Awards, Home table
  • 1998 ICFF Editors Award: Best New Designer

Further reading[edit]

  • 'The Design Work of Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby', by Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby (2011: Rizzoli)
  • 'Ascent: Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby', by Thomas Phongsathorn (2011: Haunch of Venison)
  • 'Interview: Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby', Disegno Daily (October 2012) [2]
  • 'Best in Class', by Henrietta Thompson, Wallpaper* (April 2011)
  • 'The Tipping Point', by Felix Friedmann, Disegno No 1 (December 2011), pp. 71–81
  • 'Anatomy Of: Olympic Torch', by Caitlin Tobiasz, Icon (September 2012)
  • 'British Design In 2012', V&A Channel [3]
  • Dezeen archives: BarberOsgerby tags [4]
  • 'Beautiful Simplicity', by Laura Traldi, DAMn (April/May 2011), pp. 24–28
  • 'Barber Osgerby', AXIS (April 2010) pp. 12–15
  • Process (2008, Lawrence King)
  • Phaidon Design Classics (2006, Phaidon)
  • Schumacher, Rainald. "Interview with Jay Osgerby / BarberOsgerby / Design Miami/ Basel". 

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Barber, E. & Osgerby, J. The Design Work of Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby. Rizzoli, 2011, p. 21.
  2. ^ Barber, E. & Osgerby, J. The Design Work of Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby. Rizzoli, 2011, p. 19.
  3. ^ "Contemplating Monolithic Design by Sony & BarberOsgerby", Dezeen, 15 April 2010 [1]
  4. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60534. p. 9. 15 June 2013.
  5. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60534. p. 12. 15 June 2013.