Chair design competition

Bodleian Libraries Chair Competition WinnerA chair designed by Edward Barber OBE and Jay Osgerby OBE with manufacturer Isokon Plus has been judged as the winner of the Bodleian Libraries Chair Competition. The three-legged oak chair is a contemporary response to the brief which combines a strong sense of craft heritage, sculptural form and complex reader requirements. The chairs have been installed in the Weston Library, which opened its doors to readers on 29 September 2014.

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Image gallery: View photographs of the winning design and shortlisted entries (Picture above by Jamie Smith)


  • Richard Ovenden - Interim Bodley's Librarian, Bodleian Libraries
  • Professor Martin Roth - Director, The Victoria & Albert Museum
  • Sir Kenneth Grange CBE, leading industrial designer 
  • Professor Jeremy Myerson, Director of Design at the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design
  • Tom Dyckhoff, architecture and design critic, author and BBC Culture Show host
  • Jim Eyre - Director, Wilkinson Eyre Architects

Competition structure

University of Oxford's historic Bodleian Libraries chair design competition invited a designer/manufacturer team to create a new reading room chair for the institution's Weston Library.

The chair competition continues the Bodleian Libraries' history of commissioning bespoke furniture and will be a unique opportunity to create an iconic chair for one of the world's best known libraries. Three reading rooms, one of which is an entirely new space, will play host to the winning chair design and will be used daily by readers from across the university's diverse faculties and from around the world.

Bodleian Libraries Chair Competition winner
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