Born in London in 1959, English furniture and product designer Jasper Morrison studied at Kingston Polytechnic Design School, graduating in 1982. Between 1982 and 1985, he attended the Royal College of Art for postgraduate studies–including a year of studies at Berlin’s Hochschule der Kunst (HdK) on scholarship—ultimately earning his Master’s degree in design. After graduating, he opened his Office for Design in London in 1986. Soon after, two projects helped place him on the international design map: His work was included in the Documenta 8 exhibition in Kassel in 1987, for which he designed the Reuters News Centre. The next year, he was invited to take part in “Design Werkstadt,” part of the “Berlin, Cultural City of Europe” program, for which he created the plywood furniture and room installation Some New Items for the Home, Part I, at the DAAD Galerie.
From the outset, Morrison was determined to design for industrial production. As a young designer, he sought out small, London-based industrial workshops to fabricate his designs using ready-made industrial components. It didn’t take long, however, until major brands—SCP, Vitra, and especially Cappellini—began to pursue Morrison. Over the years, he has added Alessi, Alias, Canon, Flos, Magis, Muji, Olivetti, Rowenta, Rosenthal, Samsung, Sony, Established & Sons, and others to his portfolio of clients. Regardless of client, however, a minimalist aesthetic–driven by function over expression—characterizes Morrison’s work.
In 2005, Morrison partnered with Naoto Fukasawa to develop the Super Normal project, which resulted in a book and exhibition. The project served to articulate Morrison’s design philosophy, that design should be used to enhance the human environment, through simple, well-made, and nearly invisible functionality.
Morrison’s work has been exhibited in a number of solo exhibitions, including, but not limited to presentations at Tokyo’s Axis Gallery, Yamagiwa, and HH Style; Au Musée at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs Bordeaux in 2009; and the traveling career retrospective Thingness, first launched in 2015 at the Grand-Hornu, Belgium, accompanied by the monograph A Book of Things. In 2011, he curated the show Danish Design, I Like It, at the Copenhagen Design Museum. He has been recognized as a Royal Designer for Industry since 2001.
As of this writing, Morrison has offices in London, Paris (opened 2002), and Tokyo (opened 2007).