Requirements were fairly simple: The chair must be well-crafted, sculptural, comfortable and quiet.
The winning entry was designed by the Barber Osgerby design studio, run by partners Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby. The chair's vertical spine echoes the spines of books on the shelves. It forms a strong back that is attached to a horseshoe-shaped base, making the chair silent in use. The seat's circular form repeats the shape of the base. The designers knew that the rear view of the chair was what most people would see when it was in use, so they took care to make it especially attractive. Isokon Plus will manufacture the chair.
The winner was chosen from 60 entries, including runners-up by Matthew Hilton of SCP Ltd. and Amanda Levete of Herman Miller.
Photographs by Jamie Smith
|Barber Osgerby's winning chair pictured inside the Bodleian Library|
|Winning design and runners-up|
l to r: Barber and Osgerby, Levete and Hilton