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Figure 3: Nezu designed by Jasper Morrison and produced by Glas Italia

THE GLASS TABLE III

-by Jasper Morrison

Dirk Schrijvers

Jasper Morrison (°1959, London) graduated in Design at Kingston Polytechnic Design School, London, UK (1979-82 BA (Des.)) and completed his education at the Royal College of Art for Postgraduate Studies (1982-85 MA (Des.) RCA), UK. In 1984, he took on a scholarship at the “Hochschule der Künste”, Berlin, Germany and in 1986 he set up his ‘Office for Design’ in London, UK. Today Jasper Morrison Ltd. consists of three design offices in London, Paris and Tokyo.

Posted 4 June 2013

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Tables by Jasper Morrison

DIrk Schrijvers

Jasper Morrison (1959, London) graduated in Design at Kingston Polytechnic Design School, London, UK (1979-82 BA (Des.)) and completed his education at the Royal College of Art for Postgraduate Studies (1982-85 MA (Des.) RCA), London, UK. In 1984, he took on a scholarship at the ‘Hochschule der Künste’, Berlin, Germany and in 1986 he set up his ‘Office for Design’ in London, UK. Today Jasper Morrison Ltd. consists of three design offices in London, Paris and Tokyo.
The company designed a wide range of products, from tableware and kitchen products to furniture and lighting, sanitary ware, electronics, appliance design, watches and clocks. It is also involved in urban design projects.
In 2005, Morrison created with Naoto Fukasawa ‘Super Normal’. The resulting publication had a major impact on the contemporary design philosophy and several exhibitions illustrated the concept since June 2006, in which year the first ‘Super Normal’ exhibition was opened in Tokyo, Japan.
The ‘Super Normal’ philosophy was born out of an uncomfortable feeling with the increasing presence of design in everyday situations and in products lined up on the shelves of everyday shops. Design was becoming mainstream and started to look like a ‘sell-out’; as if design simply stepped into the shoes of all the cheap ugly products which were previously available and made them cheap and ugly and highly visible. While design should be responsible for the humanization of the man-made environment, it seemed to be polluting it instead. Its historic and idealistic goal to serve industry and the happy consuming masses at the same time, of conceiving things easier to make and better to live with was sidetracked. ‘Super Normal’ encouraged the return to these values in the design concept and highlighted the fact that old things should not be replaced by ‘special’ things that are generally less useful and less rewarding in the long term. ‘Special things’ demand attention for the wrong reasons, interrupting a potentially good atmosphere with their awkward presence.
In this philosophy, the design of Jasper Morrison should be looked at and is translated in his product design.
The company Jasper Morrison Ltd. designed for Alessi S.p.A., Italy; Alias S.r.l., Italy; Canon Camera Division, Japan; Cappellini S.p.A., Italy; Flos S.p.A., Italy; FSB GmbH, Germany; Magis S.r.l., Italy; Rosenthal AG, Germany; Rowenta, France; Sony Design Centre Europe; Vitra International AG, Switzerland. In 2004, it began consultancies with Samsung Electronics, Korea, Muji (Japan), Ideal Standard (UK) and Olivetti (Italy).

Glass (side) tables
Morrison began designing products for SCP in London, UK. SCP had set up a shop in Hackney and began producing durables in the mid-80s, using specialist craftspeople to make pieces in small editions. After their designs started to gain attention and to sell, they expanded their manufacturing capacity, always seeking innovative and cost-effective ways to make high-end design. Jasper Morrison’s ‘Side table’ was the first piece SCP took into production. In 1986 it was exhibited at SCP’s first show in the ‘Salone Internazionale del Mobile’ in Milan, Italy. Following this show, SCP received widespread critical acclaim for their efforts to elevate British design on the international scene. The ‘Side table’ had a chrome-plated or powder-coated frame and came with either one or two tiers of 10 mm toughened glass, with a clear or sandblasted finish (Reference 1). The design is clear and uses the materials in a minimal way to ensure a maximum usability.
This simple form with high usability is also found in the side-table ‘Three Sofa Table’ designed for Cappellini, in which Morrison combined a base in natural polished aluminium with a top in transparent glass with rounded edges (Reference 2).
For the Italian company Glas Italia, Morrison designed the collection ‘Nezu’, a group of low tables in a new special double-faced extralight acid-etched glass, characterized by clean formality, delicate proportions and attention to detail. The legs and the top are shaped, chamfered 45°, tempered and thermo-welded together. A high loading capacity is achieved through the particular structure of the table and the tempering process, despite the slenderness of the glass (Figure 1). For the same company, he also designed a table and a series of side-tables, ‘Mirror Mirror’, from mirror glass (Figure 2a+b). The tables are executed in water jet cut laminated double-faced mirror slabs and the top is one solid mirrored face which rests upon the base. The tables fuse and seem to disappear in the surroundings by their reflection of the environment, leaving a minimal impact on the living space.
In 2011, he designed for the Italian company Alias a glass table ‘Tagliatelle Table’ with a bearing structure in stove enamelled steel available in different colours with a top in satin-finished extra clear glass or satin-finished white enamelled extra clear glass (Reference 3).
All these glass table designs reflect the ‘Super Normal’ philosophy. By the use of simple forms and basic materials, these tables support the use of an environment, without distracting the user from his living due to an ‘overdesigned’ object.

References

  1. dezeen.com/2012/05/07/designed-in-hackney-side-table-by-jasper-morrison-for-scp
  2. architonic.com/pmsht/three-sofa-cappellini/2023085
  3. suiteny.com/products/meeting-dining-tables/tagliatelle-table/1737
Other source information
dailytonic.com/novelties-by-glas-italia-i-at-salone-del-mobile
bonluxat.com/d/jasper-morrison.html
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jasper_Morrison
jaspermorrison.com
jaspermorrison.com/html/8851725.html
glasitalia.com

Figure 4: Mirror Mirror designed by Jasper Morrison produced by Glas Italia

Figure 4: Side tables Mirror Mirror designed by Jasper Morrison produced by Glas Italia

Figure 1: Side Table by Jasper Morrison for SCP

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