barber osgerby interview: a spotlight on engineered craft, venini glass and galerie kreo

barber osgerby interview: a spotlight on engineered craft, venini glass and galerie kreo

barber osgerby exhibits the signals collection of lamps at galerie kreo london

 

barber osgerby’s signals exhibition at galerie kreo london is an exercise in experimental simplicity, explains the british design duo in an exclusive interview with designboom. as the solar-like conical, mouth-blown, colored venini glass shades entice visitors closer to the set of lighting, however, its complexity – or as the designers coin – engineered craft becomes apparent. there’s the coexistence of the craft, machine and handmade, the precision of motifs and shapes ever-present in barber osgerby’s design work, and even a lasting question about the materialization of technology.

barber osgerby interview: a spotlight on engineered craft, venini glass and galerie kreo
photograph © eva herzog, courtsey galerie kreo

(main image: photograph © alexandra de cossette, courtsey galerie kreo)

 

 

barber osgerby’s partnership with galerie kreo stretches back far beyond signals. in 2016, edward barber and jay osgerby created the hakone family of furniture, consisting of curved oak tables and benches, which was shown during london design festival that year. exploring a new topic, lighting now takes the spotlight for the british designers’ first solo exhibition with the gallery.

 

since the hakone wood collection of tables and benches that we showed previously, we have been looking at different themes for our next show with kreo. naturally we looked at areas that were completely different from hakone in both materials and purpose and settled on lighting. this show, signals, illustrates how an environment can be manipulated through light, mostly through unconventional lighting methods. the designs combine reflected, directional and colored light,’ begins edward barber in conversation with designboom.

barber osgerby interview: a spotlight on engineered craft, venini glass and galerie kreo
photograph © alexandra de cossette, courtsey galerie kreo

 

 

an exercise in experimental simplicity

 

signals is a clear example of barber osgerby’s engineered craft philosophy. the term was first coined after the designers created the iris table for established & sons in 2008, describing an engineered object that had craft attention to detail. in the new exhibition, the principle reappears as the lamps highlight the perceived contrast between the seemingly machine-made but actually handmade. there is a clear coexistence of the craft, machine and handmade.

 

collaborating with a gallery gives us the chance to experiment. we are able to explore forms, themes, ideas and production techniques that are normally unavailable in mass production. interestingly in this collection the forms are very simple, it was an exercise in experimental simplicity,’ clarifies jay osgerby.

barber osgerby interview: a spotlight on engineered craft, venini glass and galerie kreo
photograph © alexandra de cossette, courtsey galerie kreo

 

 

each of the eight different floor, wall and pendant lamps are products of dualities: two materials, two geometries and two fabrication methods. restrained, orthogonal blocks are constructed from hand-formed, lacquered aluminum. hand-blown glass shades then bloom from these bodies in different combinations and contrasting colors. the box and cone – the latter a reoccurring form in barber osergy’s work – are purely geometric and instantly understandable. the totemic pieces of the floor lamps rise up from rotating pedestals so that lighting can shift for different needs throughout the day.

 

we’ve used the cone form in various different projects in the past, from a wall light for flos to a speaker for sony. it is a simple yet pleasing form,’ adds edward.

 

when looking into cones, especially when lit, the perspective is utterly distorted. the light interacts with the glass to make the space seem endless for signals. it is like looking into another world. it draws onlookers in – they are mesmerising,’ notes jay.

barber osgerby interview: a spotlight on engineered craft, venini glass and galerie kreo
photograph © alexandra de cossette, courtsey galerie kreo

 

 

unique character of venini glasswork

 

mounted to the metal boxes, the large, conical glass shades were mouth-blown in the venini workshops of murano. the artisanal techniques enable endless variations and one-off creations. the field of color shifts subtly as the thickness of glass differs between each cone. this is further enriched in signals owing to the ability to dim or strengthen the intensity of the light.

 

working with hand-blown glass gives certain unexpected outcomes. each piece is different because the way the glass flows is different, making some pieces thicker than others. this produces different tones of colour. also the changes of atmospheric pressure day-to-day creates unexpected results. for example what could be a very bright, brilliant red colour on one day might be a browny or darker red on the next day. the higher the atmospheric pressure, the brighter the colour. venini also has a very specific colour palette which has enriched the light pieces we have created,’ continues edward barber.

barber osgerby interview: a spotlight on engineered craft, venini glass and galerie kreo
photograph © alexandra de cossette, courtsey galerie kreo

 

 

the glasswork also makes the objects look quasi communication machines. the form of a cone is an archetype, a form of broadcasting or receiving, whether listening or speaking. this meaning references technology, the suspicion that all devices and machines are listening to our conversations, monitoring us. that is one of the themes of dialogue in the exhibition – are the designs just lamps or are they casting, receiving, listening?’ concludes jay osgerby as he leaves visitors to find out for themselves at galerie kreo.

barber-osgerby-interview-signals-exhibition-galerie-kreo-designboom01

photograph © eva herzog, courtsey galerie kreo

barber osgerby interview: a spotlight on engineered craft, venini glass and galerie kreo
photograph © alexandra de cossette, courtsey galerie kreo

barber-osgerby-interview-signals-exhibition-galerie-kreo-designboom02

photograph © eva herzog, courtsey galerie kreo

barber osgerby interview: a spotlight on engineered craft, venini glass and galerie kreo
photograph © eva herzog, courtsey galerie kreo

barber-osgerby-interview-signals-exhibition-galerie-kreo-designboom03

photograph © eva herzog, courtsey galerie kreo

barber osgerby interview: a spotlight on engineered craft, venini glass and galerie kreo
photograph © eva herzog, courtsey galerie kreo

 

 

exhibition info:

 

designers: barber osgerby

exhibition title: signals

gallery: galerie kreo

location: 24 cork street, london, W1S 3NG

dates: 20 january – 31 march, 2022

BARBER OSGERBY (35)

GALERIE KREO (18)

GLASS ART AND DESIGN (101)

LIGHTING DESIGN (346)

VENINI (14)

PRODUCT LIBRARY

a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

designboom will always be there for you

milan, new york, beijing, tokyo,  since 1999
X
5