Dwell Interview with Edward Barber Introduces the Barber Osgerby Collection for Knoll
July 16, 2014
The Barber Osgerby Collection for Knoll, a new upholstered sofa collection by designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby of British design studio Barber Osgerby, is featured in the July/August 2014 issue of Dwell, the magazine that explores modern homes through the eyes of the people who live in them.
The duo was tasked with creating a “sofa that was comfortable, could be used in many different configurations [and] could feel appropriate in a variety of settings —residential, commercial, hospitality,” observes Dwell writer Diana Budds.
"We wanted to do something in the vein of the Florence Knoll sofa," Barber commented. "Our design is a signature piece, but the signature comes from the foot rather than elaborate upholstery—which is either in season or out of season—or a big statement that some people love and some people hate. It's what I'd call quiet design."
The piece calls attention to the collection’s “innovative” cast aluminum leg, which joins the seat, back, and arm elements, allowing the collection to be easily configurable. "It’s really a modular landscape," Barber says. "The idea is that this foot can go between each panel and you can have a twenty-seater or an L-shaped thing. You can have it in an airport lounge, or you can have it in your home as a chair, to a two-seater, to a four-seater.”
Barber continues, “There’s innovation in the way it’s put together, innovation in terms of its shipping, and innovation in its installation."
The smaller components make it easier to negotiate narrow doorways and winding stairwells, Budds observes. “Instead of lugging an entire six-foot-long sofa up many flights of stairs, people can move smaller portions and reassemble them once the piece is in a room.”
“It’s the ultimate flexible sofa,” Barber concludes.
Dwell also features the Barber Osgerby Compact Armchair in its Made in America piece, which highlights designs from the Northeastern U.S.”