Jasper Morrison speaks with Alice Blackwood about his work on the Hiroshima range for Maruni.
15 April, 2011
“It was last year, or just before, that I started working on the Hiroshima project,” explains English designer, Jasper Morrison. “This is really the beginning of the new Maruni, with Art Director Naoto Fukasawa.
“We are good friends, and have a common idea of design should be. I’m living partly in Japan, which is another reason we met and [got along].
“He invited me to do this project, and so I was looking at what Naoto had done, and what to do for a solid wood chair.”
“Naoto’s chairs are quite sculptural and very beautiful shapes and I thought I should do something similar, but in another way. A chair was very light… and that was the first thought.”
“We went together to the factory and looked at the facilities. One of the problems of the production system, where they use solid wood for the seat – it’s very expensive and heavy.
“The idea came to me to make a frame for the seat using different materials such as webbing or mesh. That makes it very light and it’s quite affordable. We have other versions – with upholstery fabric, and also leather.
“But I like the combination of the synthetic webbing with this beautiful wood.
“Working with Maruni, it’s the discovery of a new level of quality, I’ve never worked with a company before that have that quality.
“When I visit a factory to check a prototype I have a trick; I take a tape measure to measure the chair, which gives me a bit of time to think before I tell the producer what I think.
“In the measuring, usually I find something wrong – ’Oh, the distance between the legs is wrong, anyway it’s not so bad… perhaps we can change this or this…’
“I was measuring the prototype at the factory for Maruni and there was nothing wrong. I had nothing to say!”
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