"A kinetic contraption" is how the English design duo Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby (aka Barber & Osgerby
) prefer to describe their latest endeavor, "Forecast," currently on display in the Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court at Somerset House, as the UK's entry to the first edition of the London Design Biennale
A response to the Biennale's theme of "Utopia by Design" -- a nod to the 500th anniversary of the publication of Thomas More's "Utopia" -- the giant wind-powered installation is composed of three rotating elements inspired by weather measuring instruments.
"We like to think of it as a kind of weather machine," notes Barber. "It reacts to its elemental surroundings, creating a quite hypnotic series of graceful movements that hopefully makes people take pause."
In the lead-up to the 2012 London Olympic Games, Barber & Osgerby were tasked with designing the official Olympic Torch, which was carried across the UK for 70 days leading up to the opening ceremony. Credit: Courtesy Barber & Osgerby's
Made in collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum, supported by British Land, and engineered by Arup, "Forecast" represents a more fantastical turn for the designers who are widely known for their ever-growing portfolio of furniture and product designs for leading manufacturers including Flos, Vitra and Cappelini.
That said, in addition to their memorable object designs -- which include the Olympic torch for the 2012 London Olympic Games and the £2 coin made to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the London Underground also in 2012 -- Barber & Osgerby are increasingly being recognized for their more experimental and experiential installations and exhibitions, making them two of the UK's most in-demand designers.