Corks

After investigating the quality and limits of cork as an applicable material for furniture since 2004, designer Jasper Morrison finally held his first solo show in North America at the Kasmin, New York, where minimal pieces of furnishings entail a normalisation of experimentation by the designer himself.

Based in the UK, Jasper is known for his sophisticated playfulness. With Corks, the designer toys with the leftovers of cork block material from wine bottle cork stopper production. Utilising the heterogeneous characteristic of the material’s surface, every piece of furniture creates a camouflage that’s in a state of constant change. The coherence of language is communicated through forms and colours with items like chairs, stools, a dining table, bookshelves, a bench, and a fireplace frame. At times  geometric and at times cylindrical, the occasional insertions of seemingly enlarged wine bottle corks, which act as coffee tables, create a whimsical feeling of scale and spatial occupancy.

Pushing further, Jasper produced a sculptural chair that’s also a part of this series. It might just be our favourite piece due to the refinement in material research. Taking a step away from cubic and rectangular forms, the chair is designed with beautiful armrests that grow sharply thin at their ends. This intricate detail is what drives and shows the designer’s passion with material exploration.

Perhaps Jasper Morrison’s success lies in the familiarity of these products. Although cork is a rather new material to be used in furniture design, the shapes are minimal enough to tease out our common perceptions of daily household items. By juggling between the new and the fixated, the designer was able to seamlessly connect two polars and create a sense of comfortable newness for the audience.