In The Making: Barber Osgerby at the Design Museum

Award winning designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, present their In The Making exhibition, curated for the Design Museum in collaboration with B&B Italia.

The exhibition displays over twenty objects in their unfinished form, shown in various stages of the making process. The curators believe that these stages are extremely interesting and inspiring and state that, “Often the object is as beautiful, if not more so, than the finished product.”

The founders of design studio Barber Osgerby wanted to capture a specific moment in the making process of everyday objects, reflecting upon the different phases that occur before the finished product emerges. Presented on the last floor of the Design Museum, the designers’ work is showcased in two different rooms, one with the actual objects on display and the other with film and photography of the making process, where the viewer can experience the many different stages that led to the creation of those pieces.

The creative duo, after designing and collaborating with some of the greatest manufacturers in the world such as Cappellini, B&B and Flos, decided to share one of their major interests hoping to draw the attention and the curiosity of the audience.

This was made possible by their broad experience in the design world and their time spent inside the factories where products actually come to life, providing the designers the opportunity to see these items in a different light, making them realize the beauty that lays beyond the process.

Most of the displayed objects are used on a daily basis such as a light bulb presented as a blown glass body, a tennis ball shown as a yellow selvedge felt sheet with holes, a Macbook Pro of which only the aluminium body is visible, or even an optic lens in the form of a block of rough glass.

Barber and Osgerby also decided to showcase some of their own designs, among which the iconic 2012 Olympic torch, represented by its outer perforated metal sleeve, the £2 coin created for the 150th anniversary of London’s Underground, exhibited in its two detached silver and golden pieces, and the Tip Ton chair made in collaboration with Vitra which, extracted during the moulding procedure, is missing part of its seat, creating a bikini-like shape.

Each of these products was extracted at different stages of its creation process, where the duo felt there was something particularly captivating emerging. It could have been the reflection of the light, the shape, the consistency or just something that caught the designers’ eye. Some of these objects are unrecognisable, others are obvious even in their embryonic stage and many others have just enough to spark the imagination, but they all feature, in their unfinished shape, an intriguing beauty.’

In The Making runs from January 22nd to May 4th 2014. For more info please visit the London Design Museum website. – Vittoria Toffoli

Images by Pernilla Lofberg and Design Museum

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