Additional reporting by Hong Xinying.
There is an unassuming, almost anonymous simplicity to the work of British industrial designer Jasper Morrison. With the intention to celebrate the beauty of the ordinary, Morrison’s “super normal” creations have won plaudits for their ease of use and understated style.
“There are better ways to design than putting a big effort into making something look special... Special things demand attention for the wrong reasons, interrupting potentially good atmosphere with their awkward presence,” wrote Morrison in an essay for Super Normal, a book he co-authored with Japanese architect Naoto Fukasawa. “The ‘super normal’ object is the result of a long tradition of evolutionary advancement in the shape of everyday things, not attempting to break with the history of form but rather trying to summarise it, knowing its place in the society of things.”
By understanding the material history of how objects and design archetypes like the armchair or wall lamp came to be, Morrison makes their form even more elegant while capturing the essence of what is functionally necessary; his unobtrusive furniture and decor collections look to be as well-placed in a museum, a home, or an office.
For his latest collaboration with Swiss manufacturer Vitra, Morrison designed an armchair that is attentive to the growing importance of the home office. Launched during Denmark’s 3 Days of Design festival in Copenhagen, the new HAL lounge chair and ottoman enrich the vast Vitra collection with pared-down forms made for a relaxing and prolonged recline after a long day of telecommuting. We met up with the designer in the Danish capital, and learned more about his signature style and his latest project.
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