One of today's most influential industrial designers, Jasper Morrison is known for his minimalist approach, which was formed at an early age. "My grandfather had decorated one room of his house in the Scandinavian style of the '60s—bare floors, long-haired white rugs—and in it was a Braun record player with wooden side panels. I was impressed by the room and the record player," he recalls.
Throughout his prolific career, Morrison has strived to create that same simple but functional beauty in everyday objects, from door handles to trays to wristwatches to chairs.
Morrison graduated from London's Design at Kingston Polytechnic Design School and did his postgraduate studies at the Royal College of Art and also at the Hochschule der Künste Berlin. In 1986, he set up his Office for Design in London.
In 2005, Morrison collaborated with Japanese designer Naoto Fukasawa on a ground-breaking exhibit, Super Normal, which celebrated the more humble side of design. The Tokyo-based exhibit dealt with design that doesn't call attention to itself, but quietly exists as a normal part of life—a paperclip, a pen.
Morrison also was a pioneer in using gas-injection technology for furniture; the Air Chair he designed for Magis was one of the very first times it had ever been used for that purpose. "It represented a big shift in the quality of the one-piece plastic chair," he says. "Previously, plastic chairs were only possible with single wall thicknesses and reinforcing ribs. The gas-injection technology allowed for continuously smooth surfaces."
He says he designed it, "thinking of the shape of an ideal wooden chair, if it were possible to carve it any way you liked. I think the shape has held up well and still looks fresh after 12 years."
Morrison has been featured in many magazines, and he has published several books on the subject of design. His work has been shown in many international museums, and his retail shop in London carries hundreds of well-designed household items from around the world.
Photo Credit: Suki Dhanda
Jasper Morrison, Ltd.
London, Paris, Tokyo