Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby founded their East London studio in 1996, after studying architecture together at the Royal College of Art. Their approach is characterised by its emphasis on experimentation and innovation and an exploratory attitude to materiality and colour. From these areas of focus emerge solutions that reflect the close relationship of their work with industrial processes and new technologies, but also its affinities with fine art.
The strength of Barber and Osgerby’s creative partnership has led to collaborations with some of the world’s most progressive companies and a diversity of output that encompasses architecture, interiors, sculpture, product and exhibition design, from the iconic Loop Table (1996) for Isokon and Soft Work (2018) for Vitra, to the 2012 Olympic Torch and a £2 coin commissioned to commemorate the 150th anniversary of London Underground.
Barber and Osgerby received the Jerwood prize in 2004, and in 2007 were awarded the status of Royal Designers for Industry. In 2013 they were appointed to the Order of the British Empire, for services to the design industry. Examples of their work are held in the permanent collections of the V&A and the Design Museum in London, the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Olympic Museum in Switzerland and the Vitra Design Museum in Germany.
In 2001 Barber and Osgerby founded Universal Design Studio to function in parallel with their primary studio. Focused on the fields of architecture, interiors and exhibition design, Universal is now recognised as one of the world’s most innovative creative design consultancies. In 2012 the family of Barber Osgerby studios was extended again, with the launch of the strategy-based industrial design consultancy, Map.