“Design seems like a teenager to me: loud, in-your-face, attention-seeking, kind of quirky, immature… I think an understanding of the essence of design is well on its way. In Paris, for example, I’ve been watching as cafés lose their designer looks in favour of something more atmospheric and natural. I mean, who really enjoys sitting in a design café? …There are better ways to design than putting a big effort into making something look special. Special is generally less useful than normal, and less rewarding in the long term.”
I like everything I’ve seen from Jasper Morrison. His designs are simple, rational and intuitive. The British designer became a leading figure of “New Simplicity”, a movement that advocated a more modest and more serious approach to design. Jasper Morrison’s design mission has been described as “to produce everyday objects for everyone’s use, make things lighter not heavier, softer not harder, inclusive rather than exclusive, generate energy, light and space.” The iconic designer believes that the best atmosphere and the most beauty can be found in everyday situations and is not at all interested in the idea of luxury. I love the basic beautiful shapes of Jasper Morrison’s designs and his Super Normal philosophy. Enjoy the interview. I sure did!
What influenced your choice to become a designer?
An exhibition on the work of Eileen Gray at the Victoria & Albert Museum in about 1978-79.
Looking back at your first project what knowledge do you wish you had back then?
What I missed the most was industrial experience, knowledge of how things get made.
Is there something that connects all your projects?
Me? I think they are connected by my onboard automatic controller of all things aesthetic, function, practical, common-sense, reasonable.
How would you define Super Normal?
It’s the science of what makes objects good to live with.
Is there a designer or an architect you appreciate a lot?
Many, as already mentioned Eilleen Gray, Charlotte Perriand, Jean Prouvé, Franco Albini, Sori Yanagi, Dieter Rams, Charles Eames, Castiglioni, Magistretti, Mangiarotti, Bellini, Sottsass, Enzo Mari, and more recently Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, Konstantin Grcic…
What do you enjoy most in your work?
The atmosphere of the office, the project, the discussions.
solid cork table
What do you love to do when you are not designing?
Cooking and eating at home with family, walking, cycling, taking pictures, eating, drinking seeing friends, travelling….
I love your book ‘A world without words’. What are your favorite books?
My all time favourite which I still haven’t managed to finish is George Perec’s ‘Life: A User’s Manual‘.
the crate series
Your favourite artists?
Fischli Weiss, Irving Penn, Ellsworth Kelly.
You have been awarded many significant prizes. What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
Getting to understand what makes a chair comfortable!
hal range for vitra
What does success mean to you?
It helps in many ways, one of them being the encouragement to do more and better.
Why do you think design should be democratic?
If design doesn’t concern itself with real, everyday life, then it’s just a form of entertainment for bored people with more money than sense!
My signature question – what are the most important design elements?
There are many but let’s do the main ones, alphabetically: Affordability, Atmosphere, Beauty, Function, Longevity, Naturalness of presence.