Alice Blackwood speaks with Jasper Morrison about his latest work and his approach to product design for some of the world’s best known brands.
April 24th, 2013
Developing on his 2012 move into outdoor furniture (with the launch of Parklife for Kettal), Jasper Morrison this year released a finely tuned and well balanced indoor-outdoor bench seat with Japanese furniture-manufacture brand, Maruni.
Botan – Morrison for Maruni
Renowned for his simple, logical approach to products – particularly chairs – designed for industry’s leading brands (Vitra, Cappellini, Mattiazzi, Alias and Maruni to name a few), Morrison is quite practical about design inspiration and development.
“Research and development is a full time [endeavour], you’re constantly looking around,” says Morrison. “When you’re in a restaurant you look around and see how it works and then you draw on that [experience] when you’re designing,” he says.
Lightwood – Morrison for Maruni
Probably one of Morrison’s most beautiful chair designs is the Lightwood collection for Maruni, which has not only extended its product offering into new areas of choice and option, it’s opened the brand’s catalogue of products into new markets.
Lightwood – Morrison for Maruni
Each year Morrison refines the collection a little further – with new additions to the seat base, and this year the addition of arm rests (and a slight movement of the backrest).
“At a certain moment I was holding one of the legs, to get the height for the arm, and then I thought, maybe there’s a logic in that, to use a similar element. So the chair is made up of those very similar elements.”
Fionda – Morrison for Mattiazi
Morrison’s simple, solution-focused approach frequently comes down to a trifecta of viability factors. With the Lightwood for Maruni: “it’s lightweight, there’s less wood, it’s a lower price point,” he says.
Finely tuned in his aesthetic approach, but also his understanding of the companies for whom he works, he says:” In the end, that’s what it’s about. The company has a catalogue and having the right products in the catalogue is critical to the success of the company.”
This year in Milan Morrison also launched new product for Mattiazzi – a deliciously slouchy director’s style chair, and Cappellini – a series of pared back seating solutions across stools, armchairs, task chairs and more.
Working across a broad spectrum of brands is important to Morrison’s practice, and the relationship is not one-sided either.
Club Seating and Table – Morrison for Maruni
“Sometimes I have an idea, I start drawing and think, ‘Who’s it for? Who’s the right company to show it to?’”
“That’s very important too,” he says.
This interview was facilitated by SeehoSu, distributor of the Maruni range in Australia.
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