London Olympic torch duo Barber and Osgerby triumph at design festival

Creative duo Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby – designers of the 2012 Olympic Torch – were awarded top prize at the London Design Festival for their work.

Barber & Osgerby were announced as winners of this year’s London Design Medal during a ceremony at Canada House.

“It’s a huge accolade and it’s lovely to be acknowledged by our own city,” Osgerby said.

Much of the pair’s early work involved the folding and shaping of sheet material, influenced by the white card that they had used frequently in architectural model making

These included the Loop Table, Flight Stool and Pilot Table  which were all moulded from sheet plywood, as was the experimental Hula Stool prototype a complex assemblage of curving forms.

In 2002 the pair were asked to design furniture for the 13th century Portsmouth Cathedral and in 2004 they were awarded the Jerwood Applied Arts Prize.

This led to a commission to design furniture for the newly restored modernist De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea. Barber and Osgerby’s De La Warr Pavilion chair is now held in London’s Victoria & Albert Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago’s permanent collections.

In 2007 Barber and Osgerby were commissioned to design the entrance foyer desk for the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in Portland Place, London.

Now in its ninth year, the London event also recognised design innovation, emerging talent and lifetime achievement. The PCH Design Innovation Medal was won by UK-based Peter Brewin and Will Crawford, who invented a cement-impregnated fabric called Concrete Canvas.

The Swarovski Emerging Talent Medal went to Dutch designer Marjan van Aubel, the creator of glassware, a table and a stained glass window that all produce power from sunlight.

The Lifetime Achievement Medal was given to Ken Adams, the German-born British motion picture production designer most famous for his set designs for the James Bond films of the 1960s and 1970s.