A TALK WITH EDWARD BARBER & JAY OSGERBY

Photography by Pascal Grob

 

Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby are the designers behind Mutina’s new awaited collections: Puzzle and Mistral. We asked them to unveil some details in anticipation of our premiere at Salone del Mobile in Milan, from 12 to 17 April 2016, hall 24 booth E11 F08.

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Puzzle and Mistral collections are definitely revolutionary keys to interior and exterior space concepts. How have you first conceived them?

Puzzle stems from our continued interest in geometry; we are constantly playing with shapes and form both in three dimensions and on the page. We find that is a powerful tool.

They have quite unusual features. What’s in to spotlight?

Both collections hinge on the possibility to organize layouts and patterns yourself. Individuality and the ability to be able to personalize your own space is increasingly important and both collections allow the user unlimited configurations.
With Puzzle especially it will be almost impossible to have two surfaces that look the same. You’d have more chance of winning the lottery!

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They come in unusual color for Mutina, too. How is color important to you? And how did you choose it for Mistral and Puzzle?

Colour provokes reaction and changes moods. It can work with or against you. With Puzzle it was a long process, and a difficult one. Within the range there are 13 colours and in each case three colours are working together. To start with, we thought about the places where the tiles would be used: a restaurant, a bathroom or a terrace. We selected some subdued combinations and some more punchy ones for different applications. The only problem is you never feel like the job is done because there are always more options you could use. With Mistral we used more subtle and earthy tones, as they will be predominantly used outside.

What feeling did you want to express?

The tiles seem to have a joyful and positive effect on people.

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You recently released your book: what is the “one by one” concept? Can you explain it taking Puzzle and Mistral as examples?

One by One was a collection of recent projects in various stages of development, which ranged from small-scale pieces such as Cutlery to an installation at the Victoria and Albert Museum. The concept was that no matter what scale the project, each one is considered “one by one” as their importance is equal. So on this basis both Mistral and Puzzle were considered in equal measures, it just remains to be seen which one will capture the imagination most.

Does your final product come from a sketch? Do you think Puzzle and Mistral original sketches are reflecting the final product?

They are both quite similar actually. In one way tiles are quite a simple thing to design compared to a piece of furniture for example, so the original sketch can be very close to the final design. However the colours have ended up completely different.

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If you’d be up to choose a special room or house type in which using Puzzle, what would it be?

We always image the bright blue ones on a wall in a old house in Greece. Or on the front of a building in Miami!

And for Mistral?

One day when we will get around to building a swimming pool we will have them all around it!

Describe both collections in 3 words.

Puzzle: bold, colourful, unlimited. Mistral: architectural, linear, shadow.

Meet Barber & Osgerby at our new collection presentation, on Tuesday 12th April, from 2pm to 3pm, and Wednesday 13th April, from 11am to 1pm.