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Barber and Osgerby Lane Primavera tiles Mutina

Barber and Osgerby studies colour to create new Mutina tile collections

London studio Barber and Osgerby is showing two contrasting collections of tiles at Clerkenwell Design Week, Lane and Primavera.

Although different in style and format, both new collections for Mutina take a conceptual analysis of colour as their starting point.

Barber and Osgerby Lane Primavera tiles Mutina

Lane is a collection of rectangular glazed porcelain tiles that come in a single 160 millimetre by 79 millimetre size, in five different colour palettes, from greyish whites through to terracotta reds and deep aubergine purples.

"Our latest tile collections for Mutina are entirely different and both were particularly interesting to create," said studio founders Ed Barber and Jay Osgerby.

"With Lane, the colours resulted from a detailed study of London's neighbourhoods and architecture."

Barber and Osgerby Lane Primavera tiles Mutina

For example, the pale tones of the Portland stone found in London's Marylebone district is represented alongside darker greys that invoke the concrete of the brutalist Barbican estate, and the terracotta palette of Victorian brickwork found around Westminster.

The tiles have slightly irregular edges that give the impression of a handmade product. Suitable for floors and walls, they are designed to be mixed and matched for a deliberately random effect.

Barber and Osgerby Lane Primavera tiles Mutina

Primavera meanwhile is a large format tile that comes in three sizes, the largest being 120 by 240 centimetres. It can be applied both indoors and outdoors.

"With Primavera, we started from the idea of creating a tile reminiscent of a natural material and all its irregularities," said the designers.

Barber and Osgerby Lane Primavera tiles Mutina

The tiles come in five colours across all three sizes, the two neutrals being a light and darker grey, alongside a muted mid-blue, an olive green and an aubergine shade similar to that in the Lane collection.

Rather than create porcelain slabs in a uniform colour, Barber and Osgerby opted to apply flakes of coloured porcelain in contrasting shades at random to create an irregular flecked effect on the tiles surface that is discernible both visually and to the touch.

"A careful material study allowed recreating the imperfections of a natural surface through a handcrafted method, involving a mix of small brightly coloured clay flakes applied to the tiles on a coloured base, giving life to a texture that is completely unique," they explained.

Barber and Osgerby Lane Primavera tiles Mutina

Barber and Osgerby has previously created other tiles ranges for Mutina, Puzzle and Mistral. All four are on show in an installation at the Domus showroom in London this week, as part of Clerkenwell Design Week 2019.

In a recent talk, Barber and Osgerby argued that the office has become a place for collaboration and conversation where the desk takes a back seat to more casual and adaptable furniture.