Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby are the design talents behind the 2012 Olympic Torch, so it should come as no surprise that their new show at Haunch of Venison is full of highly-polished surfaces and intricate frameworks. The basis of their most recent project is the accidental beauty of functionally engineered forms, particularly those designed to have aerodynamic properties.
Osgerby cites a childhood spent watching airoplanes as the inspiration for the project, yet the pieces are more evocative of further-reaching aeronautic technologies, namely the Hubble telescope and the Apollo 11 lunar module. Corona 1100 in particular is reminiscent of the legendary gold disc that accompanied Aldrin and his team into the cosmos.
What is abundantly clear when visiting this show is that Barber and Osgerby are incapable of compromise when it comes to the design and finish of their works. Their choice of materials is considered and rational and their forms are intuitively beautiful even if their function is at times ambiguous. Each metallic creation is polished to a faultlessly smooth finish and their wooden products are crafted from a carefully selected variety of timbers chosen for their structural and aesthetic properties.
No half-measures here.
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