02/27/2024 • 3 min read

Jasper Morrison: Super Normal Design

Familiar yet refreshing

by Haworth, Inc.

Jasper Morrison is a leading British designer, best known for his work in furniture, lighting, tableware, and everyday products. He seeks to design objects that fit seamlessly into everyday surroundings—pieces that are reduced visually to their essential needs.
As a young designer, Jasper began a long and fruitful collaboration with Giulio Cappellini, which led to the introduction of more than 30 highly successful products as part of the Cappellini collection. Jasper’s rigorous attention to details, including materials, shapes, engineering, comfort, finish, and color exemplify designs like the Thinking Man’s chair, the Low Pad lounge chair, and the Elan and Orla sofas.

He honed his expertise in designing objects that are simple and familiar in form yet characterful and refreshing, infusing his projects with a minimalist elegance that makes them extremely modern.

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Jasper’s approach to design was reflected in the 2006 exhibition Super Normal, which he organized in Japan with designer Naoto Fukasawa. Their approach was to take everyday objects in our lives—a spoon, a coffee pot, eyeglasses—and underscore their beauty.

It was at Super Normal where Jasper connected with Emeco owner Gregg Buchbinder, who noted their “common appreciation for the invisible qualities behind simplicity” that inspired the 1 Inch, Alfi, and Navy Officer seating collections.

Super Normal also inspired the opening of the Jasper Morrison Shop beside his London studio in 2009. The Shop sells his designs alongside products from around the world, as well as his publications. The books not only capture Jasper’s intellectual perspective, but also express his interest in the artifacts themselves, which began when he bought and sold second-hand art and design books to earn money as a student. Products in the Shop are displayed such that they require looking and searching, so each time you visit, you may discover something you haven’t seen before.

One of the most successful industrial designers of the past few decades, Jasper’s designs are represented in the Museum of Modern Art in New York and other prominent museum collections around the world.

A while ago I found some heavy old hand-blown wine glasses in a junk shop. At first it was just their shape which attracted my attention, but slowly, using them every day, they have become something more than just nice shapes, and I notice their presence in other ways. If I use a different type of glass, for example, I feel something missing in the atmosphere of the table. When I use [the everyday glasses], the atmosphere returns, and each sip of wine’s a pleasure even if the wine is not. If I even catch a look at them on the shelf they radiate something good. This quota of atmospheric spirit is the most mysterious and elusive quality in objects.

Jasper Morrison

Super Normal: Manifesto 2006

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