Boxing Clever

The Crate, one of the most modest, and yet, most debated products to be released in 2006 left designer Jasper Morrison inundated with demands to justify the reasoning behind his homage to the humble wine-crate.

Whilst quizzical journalists and industry insiders argued amongst themselves as to whether The Crate was a cynical practical joke by Morrison, a comment on consumption or simply a celebration of simple design, Morrison was quietly crafting his own response to the uproar.

The Crate Series is an evolution of last years statement; it comprises of five individual storage units that make use of the elementary and functional qualities that first endeared Morrison to the original crate.

The Crate appealed to Morrison because it represented the antithesis to ego-driven design and now, with this extension to the family, Morrison is underlining his commitment to those same design qualities. The Crate Series is functional, un-laboured and relies on honest materials and simple forms.

Here, Morrison answers our questions on the latest development in the saga of The Crate.

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EST: What are the key characteristics of the Crate Series?
Morrison: The main characteristic is the wood I think, it took a long time to find the right one, which has all the character of the original wine crate that inspired the series.

EST: What are the qualities of the single unit; ‘The Crate’ that inspired this evolution?
Morrison: The qualities of the original crate took their time to announce themselves. They are a combination of material, proportion, purpose and newly discovered purpose. Overall you could say the original crate has a lot of character.

EST: How does the Crate Series reflect your own philosophy on the state of design?
Morrison: It’s a protest as well as a practical proposal. I've lost all interest in the kind of design that tries to look exciting in home decor magazines, and the crate came along at the moment I was wondering what to do about it. I’m interested in designing things that make a good atmosphere, and not in creating sensational shapes which fail the everyday test.

EST: Will the Crate Series keep on evolving?
Morrison: I like the idea that it could keep evolving. I’m sure there’s a limit but for the moment it’s nice to think of ways to add to it.

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Words by Laura Houseley
Photography by
Matthew Donaldson

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