Book of the Week: Barber Osgerby, Projects (Phaidon)

Book of the Week: Barber Osgerby, Projects (Phaidon)

Words  Mark Hooper
Photography Vilma Paasivaara

A beautiful new book from the renowned Shoreditch-based design supremos, Barber Osgerby, Projects (Phaidon) explores their iconic pieces from the Tip Ton chair to the Olympic Torch…

Barber Osgerby can do very little wrong in our eyes. It’s one thing for a product design duo to design the odd iconic chair or two (Exhibit A: the Tip Ton chair); it’s another for them to come up with the undisputed showstopper in a global design expo (Exhibit B: their beautiful, disorientating Double Space revolving mirror in the V&A’s Raphael Gallery for London Design Festival 2014); let alone the symbolic focal point of one of the most viewed television events of the 21st Century (Exhibit C: the 2012 Olympic Torch: over 24 million viewers for the opening ceremony, making it the ninth most popular TV event in UK history).

And that’s not to mention the time they turned up at Hole & Corner’s pop-up in London’s Forge & Co in Shoreditch to add to our window display of design sketches. Perhaps surprisingly, the latter doesn’t feature in their new retrospect monograph, entitled Barber Osgerby, Projects, published by Phaidon. (But that’s OK because we still have the original, which at this rate we’ll be able to auction at Christie’s for the price of a vintage sportscar sometime soon.)

Such is their international status in the design world, it’s no surprise that Jay Osgerby (whose design practice with Edward Barber has now lasted over 20 years) has been invited to select the Collect Open Artists for the Crafts Council’s 2018 Collect show (now known in full as The International Art Fair for Contemporary Objects), which takes place at London’s Saatchi Gallery from 22-25 February 2018.

All of which is a longwinded way of saying: buy the new Barber Osgerby book: so good you might want to invest in one of their award-winning coffee tables to put it on.


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