Passing the Torch



London based designers Jay Barber and Edward Osgerby of Barber Osgerby have designed the London 2012 Olympic torch. It’s quite an honor for the relatively young duo, but very much in keeping with the Olympic tradition of passing the torch to the next generation.

Their work has a streamlined, aerodynamic quality that is fresh, yet references the past. Designed for the 2005 redevelopment of the streamline moderne style De La Warr Pavilion, their metal chair has echoes of early 20th century institutional seating. Holes in the seat back help reduce wind drag for the outdoor chairs, a functionally decorative detail that also came in handy for the torch. Their use of bent plywood, as in their Flight Stool, is reminiscent of the work of Gerald Summers and Alvar Aalto (who designed the original furniture for the De La Warr Pavilion when it opened in 1935). Sometimes what’s old is new again.

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