Clever Ep. 163: Designer Jay Osgerby Shines a Light on Loss, Legacy + Longevity

01.25.22 | By
Clever Ep. 163: Designer Jay Osgerby Shines a Light on Loss, Legacy + Longevity

On this episode of Clever podcast, Amy Devers talks to industrial designer and founding partner of Barber Osgerby, Jay Osgerby. He grew up in a small town in England, with a close-knit multi-generational family and the backdrop of his grandparents’ experiences of WWII. Jay’s childhood was filled with making things, inspired by his Swiss ancestors’ stories of watch and camera making. His parents were incredibly resourceful, whether it was opening a shop together or repurposing curtains when the local cinema closed. This pioneering spirit is something that Jay has carried with him throughout his career – from his studies at RCA, where he met long-time business partner and friend Ed Barber, to designing the 2012 Olympic Torch to revolutionizing how people work remotely with Soft Work seating. Now, 25+ years into design, Jay reveals the triumphs and tragedies that lined his path and forged his character with candor, humor, and an unflagging optimism that burns bright and steady like the inextinguishable flame of the Olympic Torch. Listen:

On & On Chair by Emeco

On & On Chair, Emeco, 2019 / © David Brook

Soft Work Vitra Seating

Soft Work, 2018, Vitra / © Vitra

London Olympic Torch

Opening Ceremony of the London Olympic Games, 2012

Vitra Tip Ton Chair

Tip Ton RE, 2020, Vitra on Shell Table, 2000, Isokon Plus / © Liz Seabrook for Vitra

Barber Osgerby Studio Prototypes

Prototypes, models and drawings in the Barber Osgerby studio, London / © Barber Osgerby Studio

Portrait © Tom Ziora for Vitra

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Jaime Derringer, Founder + Executive Editor of Design Milk, is a Jersey girl living in SoCal. She dreams about funky, artistic jewelry + having enough free time to enjoy some of her favorite things—running, reading, making music, and drawing.