Designer Jasper Morrison shares his five favourite "super normal" projects

British designer Jasper Morrison has joined Dezeen Awards 2024 as a judge. Here he selects five projects that best reflect his work.

Morrison is known for his furniture, lighting, tableware and everyday product designs, describing his work as “at its best, super normal”.

In 1986 he founded the London-based Office for Design. He went on to open the Jasper Morrison Shop and design for electronics brand Samsung, Swiss furniture brand Vitra, lighting design brand Flos, American furniture company Emeco and homeware companies Muji and Alessi, among others.

“I just finished a bakery in Mallorca and a public toilet in Japan” Morrison told Dezeen. I’m working on a revised edition of A Book of Things, the monograph on my work published by Lars Müller Publishers, and as usual several chair projects!

dezeen awards 2024 judge jasper morrison zampa chairdezeen awards 2024 judge jasper morrison zampa chair
Morrison’s Zampa chairs for Mattiazzi. Photo by Miro Zagnoli

This week furniture maker Nikari has unveiled an armchair while Maruni debuts a sofa, both by Morrison for furniture fair Salone del Mobile during Milan design week. The designer has also curated an exhibition for US brand Emeco for this year’s Triennale Milano exhibition, commemorating their 80th anniversary.

Additionally, the Triennale Milano will host a display of walking sticks by 20 designers curated by designer Keiji Takeuchi, alongside a showcase of photographs from the book A Way of Life, a result of a trip undertaken to Ballenberg by Morrison and architects David Saik, Tsuyoshi Tane and Federica Zanco.

Morrison among Dezeen Awards 2024 judges

Dezeen Awards 2024 has launched in partnership with Bentley. This week we announced our ninth set of Dezeen Awards judges, trend forecaster Lidewij Edelkoort, designers Tej Chauhan and Inga Sempé, as well as Natural Material Studio founder Bonnie Hvillum and architect Andre Herrero.

The entry deadline for Dezeen Awards 2024 is 30 May. Submit your projects by then to avoid late entry fees.

Read on to find Morrison’s views on the five projects that best reflect his work.

dezeen awards 2024 judge jasper morrison 1144 handledezeen awards 2024 judge jasper morrison 1144 handle
Photo by Jasper Morrison Studio

1144 Handle for FSB, 1991

“I owe a lot to Jürgen Braun of FSB for offering me my first commercially produced industrial project. Up until then, I’d been making pieces largely made of existing components.

“Following the readymades and the adaptation of basic, recognisable object types to make new objects, I had come to believe that it was not the designer’s job to invent the form, just to apply it in the right places at the right time and for good enough reasons.

“I had a catalogue from a company in the East End of London called W H Clark,  which supplied equipment for trade vehicles. Looking through it one day I found the direction for the door handle in the form of a coach handle.

“I followed up this discovery by using the form of a light bulb for the doorknob and a wing nut for the door lock.

“This process of not trying to invent anything while being open to outside influence was similar to the idea of adapting objects for new purposes, but more sophisticated.”

dezeen awards 2024 judge jasper morrison glo balldezeen awards 2024 judge jasper morrison glo ball
Photo by Jasper Morrison Studio

Glo-ball lighting for Flos, 1998

“I had been trying to design a light for Flos for almost five years before together with Piero Gandini, we hit upon the idea for Glo-ball.

“I wasn’t 100 per cent convinced about it but Piero was so sure that he dropped an earlier project we had been working on. It turned out to be a big success, maybe just because it’s a new take on the classic hanging glass globe.

“Though it is a simple concept it has a lot of character. It has remained in production for more than 25 years and continues to be in demand. I’m proud of that.”

dezeen awards 2024 judge jasper morrison evoc cantilvever chair 1dezeen awards 2024 judge jasper morrison evoc cantilvever chair 1
Photo by Marc Eggimann

Evo-C chair for Vitra, 2020

“The Evo-C chair began with a question from an engineer at Vitra – could we produce a one-piece moulded cantilever chair with two front legs? I responded with a sketch and it took five years to realise.

“This shows the power of dialogue more than anything, as I would never have made the sketch without the question. It’s the first plastic cantilever chair Vitra has made since the Panton Chair in 1960.

“We made several hundred iterations of a 3D computer drawing. The changes were partly aesthetic but mostly they involved adjusting the sections and material thickness to have the right combination of strength and flexibility.

“The achievement is nine parts engineering to one part design. I think the final result has an amazing ability to fit into different kinds of spaces.”

Read more about the Evo-C chair ›

dezeen awards 2024 judge jasper morrison zampa 1dezeen awards 2024 judge jasper morrison zampa 1
Photo by Natalia Garcia

Zampa Chair for Mattiazzi, 2019-2023

“The Zampa Chair came out of the Zampa Stool, which was inspired by old country stools, handmade with curved stick legs and roughly connected to circular solid wood seats.

While designing the Zampa stools I never imagined we would add a chair to the family. If Mattiazzi had asked me to design a chair first I very much doubt it would be as good as this one. It shows how unpredictable the design process is.

“Seen as a family it looks perfectly natural that there’s a chair, and I think the chair brings a lot of extra character to the stools which on their own might have seemed a bit minimal.

“Their charm and character are irresistible though they couldn’t be more direct and every day in a practical sense.”

dezeen awards 2024 judge jasper morrison table clockdezeen awards 2024 judge jasper morrison table clock
Photo by Jasper Morrison Studio

Table Clock for Hay, 2023

“A table clock with a black, white, blue or green face. The face is detachable and can be hung on the wall.

“I’m not sure why, but I have designed many objects with a flat bowl shape. It all started with the lid of a series of storage tins designed for Alessi and led to another family of trays and serving bowls, a desktop storage system for Vitra, and then the wall clock.

“I liked the memory it evoked of plates and dishes which people used to hang on their walls instead of using them.

The dial of the clock was designed to imitate a sports hall or swimming pool clock, which was probably a mistake, although I still like it. I think we’d have sold many more if it looked more like a normal clock!”

Dezeen Awards 2024 in partnership with Bentley

Dezeen Awards is the ultimate accolade for architects and designers across the globe. The seventh edition of the annual awards programme is in partnership with Bentley as part of a wider collaboration to inspire, support and champion design excellence and showcase innovation that creates a better and more sustainable world. This ambition complements Bentley’s architecture and design business initiatives, including the Bentley Home range of furnishings and real estate projects around the world.

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