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Material Matters: Barber Osgerby

Grant Gibson's in-depth conversation with the London-based industrial design studio.

By TDE News / 6th February 2020

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO the Material Matters podcast with Grant Gibson, celebrating its first year and over 52,000 downloads!

Last week a new series kicked off with a bumper episode devoted to internationally renowned designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby.

Jay Osgerby and Edward Barber COURTESY: Mark Cocksedge

Jay Osgerby and Edward Barber
COURTESY: Mark Cocksedge

As Gibson explains: “ I first met them at the opening of the Soho Brewing Company in Covent Garden over 20 years ago and it was wonderful to catch up again. If I’m honest the intention was to chat about the role plywood played in their nascent careers, but we end up chewing the fat about (among other things): meeting at the Royal College of Art and nearly being kicked out; not slagging off Richard Rogers; the ‘toxicity’ of contemporary design; the importance of collaboration; how the business has changed since they emerged in the ’90s; their obsession with making; oh and why their work definitely, definitely isn’t ‘Blair-ite’.”

Barber Osgerby for Isokon Plus, ‘Shell Chair’, 2004 COURTESY: © Henry Newman Photography

Barber Osgerby for Isokon Plus, ‘Shell Chair’, 2004
COURTESY: © Henry Newman Photography

Gibson also probes the pair about the creation of the Olympic torch for the 2012 Games, the thinking behind their revolutionary ‘Tip Ton’ chair for Vitra, and their recent ‘On & On’ chair for the US manufacturer Emecochair – made from recycled plastic.

We are huge fans at The Design Edit and want to remind our readers that you can find the whole series of podcasts here – including the most recent interview with amazing glass artist Shelley James.

Barber Osgerby – a London-based industrial design studio established in 1996 by British designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby.

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TDE News
Compiled by The Design Edit team