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Super Normal reflected the observations and even the design language of two of the world’s leading designers, posing the question: why are the objects we care about most often the least noticeable?

Naoto Fukasawa and Jasper Morrison celebrated the qualities of the inconspicuous objects that quietly enhance our lives in a landmark exhibition in June 2006 in Tokyo. The exhibition consisted of more than 200 items identified by Fukasawa and Morrison as exemplifying the Super Normal ethos.

Super Normal was first shown in Europe at twentytwentyone during London Design Festival 2006.

Inexpensive everyday items like the humble paper clip and Ball Pentel fibre tip pen featured alongside an early 1900s wine glass found in a Paris junkshop and the work of noted designers such as Achille Castiglione, Enzo Mari and Sori Yanagi.

“Designers generally don’t think to design the ‘ordinary’,” said Fukasawa. “If anything, they live in fear of people saying their designs are ‘nothing special’.

Super Normal is less concerned with designing beauty than with seemingly homely but memorable elements of daily life. Certainly nothing ‘flash’ or ‘eye-catching’. Never contrived, almost ‘naff’, yet somehow appealing.


Products used in exhibition