2 August 2016
We are delighted to be featured in the ‘showroom’ section of this month’s issue of Novum magazine, alongside Mucho, Joseph Veazey, Alberto Fiocco and Nicklas Haslestad.
"At BOB they are passionate about print, materiality and book binding. But this London- and Zurich-based studio is also at home in digital space and with web toys and interactive objects. What’s important is a perfect match between concept and craftsmanship and a lively exchange between designer and client.
It reads like a designer fairy story: Mireille Burkhardt was born into a family of Zurich bookbinders, and spent her weekends in the workshop where, dressed in a big white apron, she made all kings of things out of leather and paper scraps. All the while she was surrounded by books, as she recalls: “I am very lucky to have always had an amazing supply of beautifully designed books which are a continuing source of inspiration to this day.” Kieran O’Connor’s family were also very supportive of creativity: “I have an Irish background,” he says. “A large extended family with lots of storytelling, and lots of not taking yourself too seriously – so full of humour and inventiveness.”
In 2002 Burkhardt and O’Connor founded the BOB design studio, based in London and Zurich, and since then they, together with five colleagues, have built up a reputation for craft quality and strong concepts. Mireille Burkhardt and Kieran O’Connor share a similar background because both studied at the Kingston Art & Design School and both have a certain “Swissness,” as O’Connor explains – Mireille because of her origins and himself because he also studied at the Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst in Basel. It is the combination of craft skill and conceptual strengths that distinguish BOB today: They have the ability to develop ideas and concepts and the craftsmanship to then implement this in effective design. Also as regards to how they work with their clients, the team is happy to rely on the methods they learnt at college. Concepts are discussed in depth with the client and they value the feedback they receive. Sometimes it might even feel like a tutorial back at uni, says O’Connor, but the discussions that take place are very fruitful.
Close cooperation with the client has always worked for BOB, through all their various phases, be it fashion, retail, catering or architecture. What the next focus will be Mireille Burkhardt and Kieran O’Connor cannot say, but for the moment they are concentrating on planning a book project for students and a gallery – and who knows what commissions might then result."