Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby
Tortello presents itself as a monolithic sofa that amuses with its generous, soft and cozy shapes. Just as the name leaves no room for the imagination, the design is also striking. Tortello is composed of several unexpected elements. The supporting structure, a sort of tray with a trapezoidal section base, is rotationally molded from recycled polyethylene. It is then completed by an elastomer mattress on which the foamed upper element is laid, a soft fabric-covered volume characterized by a peculiar profile thanks to a ‘pinched’ stitching. Tortello boasts responsible manufacturing thanks to the most advanced technologies and state-of-the-art materials. Circularity and recycling are at the heart of this new collection, starting with the structure in second-life polyethylene to which are added elements in polyurethane foam and thermoplastic elastomers that define its geometry and comfort. Softness is guaranteed by a series of targeted constructive expedients, despite the fact that the quantity of polyurethane used is minimal. The choice of materials and construction techniques, which allow to assemble the structural elements without the use of adhesive or glues, mean that Tortello can be completely disassembled and consequently easy to recycle.
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Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby founded their East London studio in 1996, after studying architecture together at the Royal College of Art. Their approach is characterised by its emphasis on experimentation and innovation and an exploratory attitude to materiality and colour.
From these areas of focus emerge solutions that reflect the close relationship of their work with industrial processes and new technologies, but also its affinities with fine art. The strength of Barber and Osgerby’s creative partnership has led to collaborations with some of the world’s most progressive companies and a diversity of output that encompasses architecture, interiors, sculpture, product and exhibition design. Amongst many professional accolades, Barber and Osgerby received the Jerwood prize in 2004 and in 2007 were awarded the status of “Royal Designers for Industry”. In 2013 they were appointed to the Order of the British Empire, for services to the design industry.
Examples of their work are held in the permanent collections of major museums around the world, such as the Design Museum in London and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, to name a few. In 2001 Barber and Osgerby founded Universal to function in parallel with their primary studio. Focused on the fields of architecture, interiors and exhibition design, Universal is now recognised as one of the world’s most innovative creative design consultancies. In 2012 they launched Map, a strategy-based industrial design consultancy, Map.