We're really excited that this year's Design Awards jury will include an international judge, Edward Barber, of the London design firm BarberOsgerby. Auckland's Interior Design Guild is bringing him to New Zealand to give two talks on March 11 (we'll post details on how to buy tickets next week), and has generously allowed us to fit the Design Awards judging into his schedule.

Edward and his design partner, Jay Osgerby, studied architecture together at the Royal College of Art in London and established their firm in 1996. Since then, they have experienced a dizzying rise to prominence, with works now included in the collections of London’s Victoria & Albert Museum and New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Barber and Osgerby’s acclaimed designs have included chairs, tables, fabric and lamps as well as interiors, including those of fashion designer Stella McCartney’s stores. They have accepted commissions as diverse as designing furniture for a cathedral on England’s south coast and dining chairs for the famed modernist De La Warr Pavilion at Bexhill-on-Sea. Here's an image of the De La Warr Pavilion chair:

Gareth Williams from London’s Victoria & Albert Museum nicely sums up the BarberOsgerby aesthetic: “I have always admired the seriousness of BarberOsgerby’s designs, which are never about stylistic gimmicks or novelties,” he says. “Their furniture is a continuum with British modernist design of the mid-20th century: calm, often quite discrete, polite, well-made and fit for purpose.”

In 2007, the duo were awarded the title “Royal Designers for Industry”, the highest honour that can be accorded to designers in the UK. Only 200 designers can hold the distinction at one time.

Some other BarberOsgerby designs: The 'Bottle' table.

And the aluminium 'Shell' chair.

And the designers themselves. Jay is on the left, Edward on the right:

You can see more of their work at http://www.barberosgerby.com/. We're looking forward to welcoming Edward to New Zealand.