Acclaimed London based designers Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby are two of the most innovative design practitioners working in Britain today. Recently chosen to design the Olympic Torch for the London 2012 Games, they engage in many forms of design, from industrial design to architecture.
Their collaborative exhibition Ascent, presented eight new pieces (and related drawings) inspired by the structures and engineered forms of moving craft: forms that have, what Barber and Osgerby refer to as ‘hidden design’.
Interest in these fields originated in their respective childhoods. Osgerby grew up close to a Royal Airforce base in Oxfordshire and spent many hours watching the airplanes flying there. Barber developed a fascination with boat design while sailing as a child.
Ascent references these moving craft, for example in the fin-like shape of Foil V, a wall mounted brass structure, or the satellite shape of Planform Array V, an angular, hanging chandelier comprising of eight segments that are fixed around a central axis.
The restrained, refined approach Barber and Osgerby have to design is made visual in their new work, with form and structure becoming the main focus. The pieces keenly illustrate the architectural quality of their practice, by virtue of their size and enclosure-like forms.
Published on the occasion of the exhibition Ascent at Haunch of Venison, London, 24 September – 19 November 2011.