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Barber & Osgerby: Advocates for the Interactive

Barber & Osgerby are a British designer duo dedicated to the philosophy of "interaction design." For many years, the Brits’ user-oriented product design has been highly valued by numerous prestigious brands and public clients. For AXOR, they’ve devised a completely new form of shower control.

Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby, product designers for AXOR.
Representatives of "interaction design" In their product design, Jay Osgerby (left) and Edward Barber (right) are consistently oriented towards the user (Copyright: Lorenzo Cugini).

Creativity in service of the user

Barber & Osgerby is the moniker for the British designer duo of Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby. Their product design is all about so-called interaction design. This style puts the user’s interaction with the product at the forefront of the design. The spectrum of their work includes the design of mass products as well as limited series like furniture or lighting. Added to that are public contracts like designing the Olympic torch for the London 2012 Games or a special coin for the United Kingdom’s Royal Mint.

With their user-oriented approach, within just a few years since the mid-1990s, their joint studio became the hip address for all sorts of famous customers and international designer brands, including
  • Knoll,
  • Cappellini,
  • B&B Italia and
  • Flos from Italy,
  • Sony,
  • Swarovski, and
  • the German designer label Vitra.
Barber & Osgerby have also expanded into further creative realms with the design of exhibition spaces, shop design, and hotel architecture.

Intuitive shower design for AXOR

Barber & Osgerby first applied themselves to bathroom design in their work as product designers for AXOR. The results were the duo’s products for the cross-collection shower series AXOR One in 2015. For the program, the two Brits devised a completely new operating concept for shower faucets. It can be used to regulate the various showers as well as the water temperature and quantity with a single control element. This gives the user perfect control of their designer shower.

With its large paddles, the AXOR One control element by Barber & Osgerby is a masterpiece of simple and intuitive operation – in the spirit of "interaction design." The control element is perfectly supplemented by the AXOR One hand shower, another creation by the designer duo for AXOR.

Two heads in London’s creative milieu

Edward Barber of Shrewsbury and Jay Osgerby of Oxford were both born in 1969. Barber initially studied interior design, Osgerby product design. They met while getting their Master’s degrees at the Royal College of Art in London. Together, they opened a studio in London's Trellick Tower in 1996. Their Universal Design Studio for interior design in followed 2001, as well as MAP – a consultancy specializing in research and strategic design. The Barber & Osgerby studio is located in Shoreditch, one of London’s creative hot spots.

Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby have already received several "Designer of the Year" awards from international media and specialist committees, for example from
  • Elle Decoration
  • Wallpaper
  • Maison & Object and
  • ICFF.
Objects they've penned can be found in important art collections such as the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the Art Institute of Chicago. In 2007 and 2013, they were both awarded the title of "Royal Designers for Industry" by the British Royal Society of Arts. Also in 2013, Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby were appointed Officers of the Order of the British Empire for services to the design industry.

You can find more about Barber & Osgerby's work on the designer duo’s website: barberosgerby.com 
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