Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby have designed Planophore 2014 for Vitra as a dual-purpose room divider and bookshelf. Its open sides create a horizontal emphasis underscored by the solid shelves with rounded bottom edges, which are reminiscent of aircraft wings and appear to float on the vertical panels. This also explains the name of the shelf: the original Planophore made its debut in 1871 as the first stable model aeroplane powered by twisted rubber bands.
The vertical aluminium panels are Planophore’s most striking structural feature: they can be rotated to serve as functional shelf dividers. When the slightly asymmetrical dividers are positioned parallel to the shelves, Planophore becomes a partition element; set perpendicularly, the panels divide the shelves into varying compartments that can accommodate books and similar objects; if just a few individual panels are turned in a parallel direction, they provide an attractive background for decorative objects. The rotation axes of the panels, which constitute the load-bearing structure of Planosphere, are offset in depth. This not only increases the stability of the shelf unit, but also introduces a playful aspect to the arrangement of the panels, allowing a multitude of different configurations.
The vertical distance between the shelves, which are made of premium solid oakwood, is not identical at all levels – a further detail that accentuates the horizontal orientation of Planophore.
Material: oak, natural solid, oiled, aluminium matt anodised Dimensions: H 162 x W 238 x D 415 cm
Edward Barber, born in Shrewsbury in 1969, and Jay Osgerby, born in Oxford in 1969, studied architecture and interior design as fellow students at the Royal College of Art in London. In 1996, they founded their own studio for design and architecture under the name Barber & Osgerby. Since that time, their collaborative work has probed the interface between industrial design, furniture design and architecture.