Double Space

During last year’s London Design Festival, in the second collaboration with BMW group, British design duo Jay Osgerby & Edward Barbar created this incredible bespoke installation, the largest structure that they have ever created, for the annual event. The project named ‘Double Space’ – Precision & Poetry of Motion— was an immersive experience constructed within the V&A museum‘s prestigious Raphael gallery that combines technical precision with poetic semantics. It was the British creatives’ intention to interpret the leitmotif of BMW’s design philosophy, ‘precision and poetry’, bringing forth an all-encompassing piece that merged technology and sensuality into a single experience. The kinetic installation is composed of two large reflectors, each composed of one flat wall of mirror and one curved surface, hovering over the 600 m² space where Raphael’s famous cartoons for his Sistine Chapel tapestries hang. The two shimmering volumes (each measuring 15 x 10 meters each) revolving on their own axis, either simultaneously or alternatively, collectively citing the monumental size of the Raphael gallery – “A place that cries out something great,” according to Osgerby, with which we can only agree.

We have written a choreographed programme of movement for the pieces, when the lights are off you feel like you are actually in space, surrounded by Raphael Cartoons. Which is quite peculiar. It’s like a dream.

Internationally acclaimed designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby founded their eponymous studio in 1996 after graduating with Master’s degrees in Architecture from The Royal College of Art in London. From their first studio in Trellick Tower in London, they designed their first piece, the Loop Table, produced by Isokon in 1997. Much of Barber and Osgerby’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. Plywood and perspex were used in the development of the Pilot Table, 1999, and Stencil Screen, 2000. Furthermore the studio created furniture series for Vitra and B&B Italia, as well as products such as a Murano glass lamp for Louis Vuitton and the Olympic Torch for the 2012 London Olympic Games.

The Raphaels belong to the Queen, so she has to be able to come and see them at any point to check they’re okay. We had to get her approval to do the project. She liked it. Good job, really.

For more information on Double Space and other inspirational work by Barbar and Osgerby see here.