Jasper Morrison is one of the most influential industrial designers, with an ascetically elegant style, from tableware and kitchen products to furniture and lighting, sanitary ware, electronics and appliance design. He was born in London, 1959, and grew up there and New York, due to his father job. Morrison studied design in England at Kingston Polytechnic Design School, 1979-82, and mastered in design at The Royal College of Art, 1982-85, and received a scholarship to study at Berlins Hdk (Hochschule der künste, 1984) due to his outstanding performance in College.
In his early years, Morrison was interested into designing by an Eileen Gray exhibition at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum and his ideas and inspirations would come by studying in a light, bright room furnished in a modernist style. From the beginning of his career, Morrison was interested in industrial design production, and his lack of money and wealth did not stop his interest, rather than making pieces by hand with unique details, he enjoyed of the work of modernist pioneers such as Buckminster Fuller, Gerald Summers, Jean Prouvé and Le Corbusier. Later Morrison was as well interested in the exuberant furniture of the Memphis movement first exhibition in Milan in 1981.
In 1986, a year after Morrison finished his studies; Jasper Morrison Ltd opened in London, and with a branch office in Paris since 2000s. LM Ldt’s clients are leaders from different companies from around the world, and Morrison makes sure his designs fulfill his own demands, which normally convince the company’s demands, and he is always willing to make random associations. His company doesn’t believe in limited designs edition pieces; however, once in a while he makes the exception and “confront these contradictions as a way to stay sharp.”[i]
“Otherwise you become a prisoner of your own opinions”[ii]
His goal is “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.”[iii] Morrison feels that the object’s means is to improve the atmosphere of the ‘man-made’ environment, and tests every new design in his house’s atmosphere in order to evaluate his work, its effectiveness, and its influence on the area and the consumer; he dislikes and discourage the idea of luxury, since to him ‘this excludes others from enjoying something’ when people should be allow to enjoy of everything; and he produces qualitative designs at affordable prices, which are very simplistic and useful that don’t even seem to be professional design under amateur eye.
He is well known for the German door handles design for Cappellini, Alias and Vitra; forming with Andreas Brandolini ‘Utilism International’ undertaking design projects, concerning the improvement of public spaces, for the Frankfurt art fair and town planning in Vienna, Graz and Berlin; designing for the Hannover transportation, Morrison was first asked to design the bus stop station for the city, and due its success the LM Ldt was awarded a contract to design the new Hannover tram.
Morrison doesn’t consult other designers, asides members of his firm, because he feels that he is producing for simple and useful quantitative tools. He, with Michael Marriot, are currently teaching a unit of students of Royal College of Art; and have published six books showing his views and designs.
German Door Handle
German Door Handle
Hannover Tram Interior
[i] Whitewall: Jasper Morrison: The Minimalist (interview on-line); available from http://www.jaspermorrison.com/html/03024445.html; Internet: accessed 1 May 2010.
Design Museum. “Jasper Morrison” Designmuseum.org, 30 July 2006 – 4 March 2007. Available from http://designmuseum.org/design/jasper-morrison. Accessed 1 May 2010.
Designboom. “Jasper Morrison” Designboom.com, April 2002. Available from http://www.designboom.com/eng/interview/morrison.html. Accessed 1 May 2010.
Morrison, Jasper Ltd. “Biography.” Jaspermorrison.com. Available from http://www.jaspermorrison.com/html/8796313.html. Accessed 1 May 2010.
Spotd.it. “Interview: Jasper Morrison” Spodt.it, October 2009. Available from http://www.spotd.it/2009/10/interview-jasper-morrison.html. Accessed 1May 2010.
Whitewall. “Jasper Morrison: The Minimalist.” Jaspermorrison.com, February 2010. Available from http://www.jaspermorrison.com/html/03024445.html. Accessed 1 May 2010.