Map Project Office

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Map Project Office
IndustryProduct Design, Industrial Design, Packaging design, Design strategy
Shoreditch, London
Key people
Edward Barber, Jay Osgerby
ServicesStrategy, Research, Design Edit this on Wikidata

Map Project Office is an industrial design firm based in East London, working with both major brands and start-ups in the consumer technology space. The studio works with abstract technologies such as artificial intelligence, augmented reality or the IoT, creating accessible experiences for the end user.


Map was originally formed as a team within furniture design firm Barber & Osgerby[1] to accommodate its growing portfolio of design work for major technology brands including Google, IBM and Sony. Founded by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, it was spun-off into its own business in 2012, and has since received over 40 awards including Creative Review’s Creative Agency of the Year 2016.[2] In 2018 Map Project Office and its sister company Universal Design Studio joined with AKQA.[3] Map is now led by Directors Will Howe and Alex Hulme.

Work and awards[edit]

Map originally started with four people and has since grown to a team of 12 designers. Their three main strands of work are designed for start-ups, global technology brands and, increasingly, exhibition and installation development for leading creative and advertising agencies.

For their work with start-up clients, the studio works in an end-to-end design process, from strategy, design and fundraising to production, sourcing and manufacturing and often across disciplines including engineering, science, digital and business.

One of Map’s first projects was with Kano to create a DIY computer kit that promotes STEAM and STEM learning for children. The kit, originally launched on Kickstarter, and has gone on to receive multiple awards.[4] Further work with start-ups include BleepBleeps[5] and the Beeline Smart Compass, which was awarded Best Consumer Product by Design Week in 2017.[6]

The studio also works with technology brands conducting concept work, working with the client's in-house design teams to develop strategic products that will shape the future of technology, in many cases where the final output will end up being released 4 or 5 years later.

Working on collaborative exhibition and spatial design projects Map received awards for the Google Chrome Web Lab,[7] the Science Museum Entrance Desk[8] and IBM Watson IoT Head Quarters in Munich.[9]

In 2016, the studio was the recipient of the acclaimed Creative Agency of the Year by Creative Review and was also listed by Fast Co as one the Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Design.[10]

For collaborations with Honda,[11] BleepBleeps[12] and Beeline[13] they were also featured extensively in Icon Magazine, FastCo Design,[14] The Drive, Wired[15] and Dezeen.

The studio was highlighted within The Design Economy[16] as a case study. The report released by the Design Council addressed the skills and economic contribution the industry provides to the UK.

Map Project Office collaborated with Universal Design Studio to design the world's first integrated quantum computing system for IBM. In 2019 IBM launched the IBM Q System One at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Map and Universal defined the vision for the system, where the hardware, spaces and interface were considered as a single coherent experience[17]. The design includes a nine-foot-tall, nine-foot-wide case of half-inch thick borosilicate glass forming a sealed, airtight enclosure. Its glass door opens effortlessly, simplifying the system’s maintenance and upgrade process while minimising downtime – making the IBM Q System One uniquely suited for reliable commercial use[18].


  1. ^ "Barber & Osgerby". Retrieved 2018-10-11.
  2. ^ "CR Annual Agency of the Year: Map Project Office - Creative Review". Creative Review. 2016-04-28. Retrieved 2018-10-11.
  3. ^ "Universal Design Studio + Map Project Office join AKQA". AKQA. Retrieved 2018-10-11.
  4. ^ "Most Awarded Computer Kits". Hello Kano!. Retrieved 2018-10-11.
  5. ^ "Map started out as Barber & Osgerby's consultancy arm, but has evolved into something quite new - Icon Magazine". Retrieved 2018-10-11.
  6. ^ "Design Week Awards 2017 – the winners in full - Design Week". Design Week. 2017-06-14. Retrieved 2018-10-11.
  7. ^ {{Cite web |url= |title= Chrome Web Lab {{!} Universal Design Studio/MAP/Google |website= |language=en |access-date=2018-10-11}}
  8. ^ "Winners 2014/Events & Visitor Attractions | DBA: Design Effectiveness Awards". Retrieved 2018-10-11.
  9. ^ "IBM Watson IoT - IBM Watson IoT Centre, Munich". Clios. Retrieved 2018-10-11.
  10. ^ "The 2016 Top 10 Most Innovative Companies by Sector: Design | Fast Company". Fast Company. Retrieved 2018-10-11.
  11. ^ Schultz, Jonathan. "Watch Honda's Self-driving Toys Conquer Earth". The Drive. Retrieved 2018-10-11.
  12. ^ "Suzy Snooze monitor uses light and sound to help babies sleep". Dezeen. 2016-06-21. Retrieved 2018-10-11.
  13. ^ "BeeLine - Icon Magazine". Retrieved 2018-10-11.
  14. ^ "How Self-Driving Cars Could Revolutionize Road Trips". Fast Company. 2016-04-25. Retrieved 2018-10-11.
  15. ^ Jacob, G. (1995). "Reuters experience of vision over SDH or how comms and television got together and stepped into the future". International Broadcasting Conference IBC '95. IEE. 1995: 274–283. doi:10.1049/cp:19950965. ISBN 978-0852966440.
  16. ^ "Video: The Design Economy 2018 – Map Project Office". Design Council. Retrieved 2018-10-11.
  17. ^ "IBM Unveils its first commercial quantum computer". TechCrunch. 2019-01-08.
  18. ^ "IBM Q System One". IBM Q System One. 2018-03-12. Retrieved 2019-02-18.