One of today’s most influential industrial designers, Jasper Morrison is known for his minimalist approach, formed at an early age. “My grandfather had decorated one room of his house in the Scandinavian style of the 1960s—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 a prolific career, Morrison has strived to create that same simple but functional beauty in everyday objects, from door handles to wristwatches to chairs.
Morrison graduated from London’s Kingston School of Art and did postgraduate studies at the Royal College of Art, as well as 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 groundbreaking exhibit, Super Normal, which celebrated the humble side of design. The Tokyo-based exhibit showcased design that doesn’t call attention to itself, but rather exists quietly as part of everyday life—a paper clip, or a pen.
Morrison pioneered the use of gas-injection technology in designing his Magis Air Chair, one of the first times the process had been used in the making of furniture. “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 thickness and reinforcing ribs. Gas-injection technology allowed for a continuously smooth surface.” He designed it, he says, “...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.”