Lives in Philadelphia. Still plays with LEGO®. Enthused about awase miso.

WHAT IS SUPERNORMAL? / スーパーノーマルとは何ですか

“Design, which used to be almost unknown as a profession, has become a major source of pollution.

Encouraged by glossy lifestyle magazines, and marketing departments, its become a competition to make things as noticeable as possible by means of colour, shape, and surprise. It’s historic and idealist purpose, to serve industry and the happy consuming masses at the same time, of conceiving things easier to make and better to live with, seems to have been side-tracked.

Design makes things seem special, and who wants normal if they can have special? And that’s the problem. What has grown naturally and unselfconsciously over the years cannot easily be replaced. Not that old things shouldn’t be replaced or that new things are bad, just that things which are designed to attract attention are usually unsatisfactory. There are better ways to design than putting a big effort into making something look special.

SUPER NORMAL THINGS are a signpost to somewhere beyond normal, because they transcend normality. There’s nothing wrong with normal of course, but normal was the product of an earlier, less self conscious age, and designers working at replacing old with new and hopefully better, are doing it without the benefit of innocence which normal demands. The wine glasses and other objects from the past reveal the existence of Super Normal. like spraying paint on a ghost.

You may have a feeling it’s there but it’s difficult to see. The Super Normal object is the result of a long tradition of evolutionary advancement in the shape of everyday things, not attempting to break with the history of form but rather trying to summarise it, knowing its place in the society of things. Super Normal is the artificial replacement for normal, which with time and understanding may become grafted to everyday life.”