Interior: Barber & Osgerby X Vitra

Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby | © Vitra

Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby have been working together with Vitra for a long time. With the Pacific Chair they developed their first office chair for the company

Our daily work routine has slowly calmed down again after moving to our new office – and that’s probably mostly to do with the fact that some of the furniture has finally arrived. Work simply “works” better at a desk, and especially when it’s so beautifully new and white and (still) reasonably tidy. In fact, we even know the name of our office chairs. How could we not? After all, there’s a thick coffee table book lying on Julia’s desk about the two men who designed them: Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, founders of the London-based design studio Barber & Osgerby.

Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby are among the most famous product designers in Great Britain and they’re active in many areas. So they don’t just create furniture, but also – for example – designed the torch for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. On the occasion of the first London Design Biennale, they also worked with the Victoria and Albert Museum and placed a huge installation in the style of a weather station in the courtyard of the beautiful Somerset House. In addition, objects that they designed are also held by the collections of the Metropolitan Museum in New York and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby both come from England and met during their master’s studies at the Royal College of Art, which both graduated from with a degree in architecture. They founded their studio shortly thereafter, in 1996. The Loop Table and the Pilot Table were among their first objects. Especially at the beginning, they worked a lot with sheet material, which they folded and formed as needed.

After many years of collaborating with furniture maker Vitra, the duo developed an office chair for the first time – and yes, we’re speaking exactly about the same model that just moved into our new office, the Pacific Chair. We just couldn’t decide when it came to the color, so we ordered it in three in different versions: parchment cream white, nero, and pink sierra gray (there simply has to be a bit of pink, for Veronika anyway).

What we like so much about this chair is exactly what Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby’s interior objects are known for: Precise design that looks both simple and modern at the same time. The functionality of the chairs – for example, the mechanics react to each individual’s weight – are hidden behind its outward appearance. The guiding principle that Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby followed while designing this product was, appropriately: “full performance, quiet design.” And, by the way, these chairs really are quiet. No squeaking, no creaking. Even if you roll all the way from your desk to the refrigerator.

Further information about product designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby can be found on their website here. They also share images of their work and what inspires them on their Instagram account (@barberosgerby). The coffee table book Barber & Osgerby is available here.

Author: Sophia Steube
Translation: Melissa Frost