design case: designers find place alongside iconic names


 Barber & Osgerby

Above: Edward Barber (left) and Jay Osgerby (right) - have worked with iconic brands such as Vitra. (Image credit: Alisa Connan).


The London design studio of Barber & Osgerby was one of the creative success stories of the London 2012 Olympics with its eye-catching design of the Olympic torch, pictured below.

The torch design picked up two Design Museum awards (for 2012 Design of the Year, and 2012 Product Design of the Year). This was part of a series of awards won by the studio before and since the Games which has included coveted D&AD Design pencils and prizes from Wallpaper*, the German Design Awards and the World Technology Awards.

Even before the Games, the studio had made an impact on the international scene.

The partners say: "We have always exported our work and are pleased to have gained solid recognition in Germany, Italy, Japan, and to a growing extent in the US, South Korea, South Africa and China."

This burgeoning international profile has enabled the studio to work on some iconic brands such as Swiss-based Vitra.

"We are one of two British designers working for this iconic Swiss furniture brand (Vitra), responsible for bringing to market some of the most famous and well loved pieces of modern design, from Aalto to Eames. 

"We currently have two products in production with Vitra and are adding a further six this spring.

"We also launched a sofa collection last year with Knoll and have more pieces being added. It is an honour for our work to be included in the (Knoll) portfolio alongside designers such as Mies and Saarinen."

Olympic Torch 700px

Above: The memorable London 2012 torch created by Barber & Osgerby. Image credit: Barber & Osgerby.

Asked to name some current UK-based designers, whose work they find inspiring, the duo say: "Our MAP team, led by Design Director, Jon Marshall, specialises in strategy-based industrial design and has carried out truly ground-breaking projects for renowned clients such as Google, Sony, Samsung, Fortnum & Mason and British Airways."

Outside the company, they say they are "impressed by the work of ForPeople."

Why does the UK and London continue to be their main base?

They say: "London is a hugely creative hub and attracts some of the world’s (as well as the UK’s) best design talent. It is also a crucible for the world’s leading innovators – whether they are global brands or start ups – and therefore home to some of the most exciting client bodies too."

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