2014 Icon Awards shortlist: Design Studio of the Year 18.11.14

Written by 
  • Barber Osgerby

  • GamFratesi: Casamania

  • Martino Gamper: In A State of Repair

  • Morag Myerscough

  • Studio Rygalik

Metahaven won the category last year. Which of the shortlisted studios do you think will take the title this time? This award is sponsored by Teuco


Ed Barber and Jay Osgerby have had a blockbuster year: starting with their In the Making show at London's Design Museum; new furniture and pieces for Vitra, B&B Italia and Venini; a jaw-dropping installation with BMW for London Design Festival; and Universal Design Studio's completion of the Information Age Gallery at the Science Museum, from which the Queen sent her first tweet. Britain's best-loved design duo have an infectious curiosity about both the industry and the world around us and we expect to see more of their influence in the years to come. In 2017, their designs for Crossrail train interiors, exteriors and livery will be rolled out.

We interviewed Jay Osgerby and Edward Barber earlier this year

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Barber Osgerby's Double Space at the V&A for London Design Festival


Stine Gam and Enrico Fratesi are the Danish-Italian design team behind popular designs such as the Beetle Chair for GUBI (2013) and the Chariot table for Casamania (2012). By fusing two design dynasties – Scandinavian craft and tradition with the Italian intellectual and conceptual approach – the pair seem to have found an elegant rationale that fits industrial design aims as well as interiors and exhibition designs. This year, GamFratesi designed Wheel, a simple circular room divider for Offecct, and Manga, a characterful companion to the Cartoon chair for Swedese. The pair were also guests of honour at February's Stockholm Furniture Fair.

We wrote about the practice in a previous issue

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Stine Gam and Enrico Fratesi


Italian designer Martino Gamper embarked on his first curatorial endeavour this year: an exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery at which he displayed shelving systems – rare pieces by Franco Albini and Gio Ponti, alongside products from Ikea and his own designs – to present a history of how we display, organise and archive our possessions. He has also emerged as something of a champion of craftsmanship – for his show in Milan, In a State of Repair, he paid artisans to mend items people had brought along to the venue, celebrating rather than disguising the visual evidence of their repair work. He has also collaborated with major brands such as Magis and Moroso this year.

We wrote about Gamper's In a State of Repair exhibition at Milan Furniture Fair

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From Gamper's Design is a State of Mind


Morag Myerscough is a place-maker with a knack for making projects pop with colour and words. Her distinctive style, from the Twitter feed announcing streams of colour and nothing else, to her controversy-courting public projects, have made her eponymous studio (founded in 1993) known for its uncompromising and highly subjective approach. Her supergraphics emblazon interiors by AHMM, her giant animals are at home in the children's ward of the Royal London Hospital, and her beach ball for Old Street kept office workers smiling. Always playful, Myerscough is currently developing a design for the pavilion at the 2015 Milan Expo, and will design the permanent exhibition at the new Design Museum.

We interviewed Myerscough earlier this year 

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Morag Myercough's Movement Cafe


Studio Rygalik was originally formed in 2006 by RCA and Pratt Institute graduate Tomek Rygalik, who ran the company between London and his hometown of Lodz, Poland. Gosia Rygalik joined in 2012 and now the pair work from Warsaw on furniture, product and spatial design for the likes of Moroso, Siemens and Absolut. The studio's scope is wide, keeping an experimental and cultural approach to its activities, as well as a commercial one. At Vienna Design Week in 2013, the pair showed a set of tables made from stale baguette halves, aiming to start a conversation about food waste.

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Tapas by Studio Rygalik 

The Icon Awards take place on 4 December. Read the full shortlist here





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