After you have just been commissioned to design the London 2012 Olympic Torch, there isn’t much more to do, might as well retire and just live happy in the memory Daley Thompson and Kriss Akabusi has touched your work. Maybe that is just me, but the acclaimed, innovative London-based designers Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby have not sat on their laurels and have recently launched their debut exhibition at Haunch of Venison, ‘Ascent’.

‘Ascent’ will present eight new pieces by the design pair, with work inspired by the structures and engineered forms of moving craft. Forms that have, what the duo refers to as, ‘hidden design’. The upbringings and youth of the two designers have obviously had a long lasting affect on their design passions. Osgerby grew up close to a Royal Airforce base, spending hours watching the airplanes flying there and dreaming of doing a Maverick, Top Gun-esque flyby and Barber had developed a fascination with boat design whilst a keen sailor as a child.

Jay Osgerby commented, “Those things that have evolved or that have been engineered to move swiftly through air or water often have an intrinsic formal beauty.”

Ascent references these moving craft, for example in the fin-like shape of Foil V, a wall mounted brass structure, or the satellite shape of Planform Array V, an angular, hanging chandelier comprising of eight segments that are fixed around a central axis.

Corona 800 and Corona 1100 are two large round discs that emit light. One made from mirror-polished brass, the other brilliantly-coloured, and they appear to hover just off the wall. These will be shown with a vertical wall-mounted, mirror-polished brass panel.

The restrained, refined approach Barber and Osgerby have to design is made visual in ‘Ascent’, with form and structure becoming the main focus of the work. The pieces keenly illustrate the architectural quality of Barber and Osgerby’s practice, by virtue of their size and enclosure-like forms.

Barber and Osgerby’s new collaboration with Haunch of Venison takes their work into new areas of experimentation. These limited edition works allow them to collaborate with craft skills, new materials and processes that would be too prohibitive to use when designing for mass production.

The purity of Barber and Osgerby’s work belies the complexity of their design and development processes. In ‘Ascent’ the viewer will have the chance to experience this, as both 1:1 scale models and sketches will also be on display.

Sit back after Olympic success… not a chance. These busy designers will always be on the move, looking for new inspirations and continuing to challenge UK design to lead the way on the international scene. If only our athletes were as world-beating as this pair, Team GB might get a few more medals.

‘Ascent’ by Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby is on now at Haunch of Venison, London until 19 November.

Exhibition images are courtesy of Haunch of Venison.