By Ali Morris
Jasper Morrison has teamed up with publisher Penguin to create a shelf that clamps books together and expands to accommodate a growing collection.
Morrison’s idea for the portable book shelf, which is named Huddle after the collective noun for a group of Penguins, came about after furniture brand SCP was invited by Penguin to create a “new home for books”.
Made from two sections of folded aluminium joined together with a sliding mechanism, the minimalist book clamp can expand to hold up to 27 books.
Its lightweight, minimal design, which features a laser-etched Penguin logo on either end, allows it to be be easily moved around the home or workplace.
“My dad had a large number of the penguin paperbacks in a bookshelf at our home and though I wasn’t able to read them at the time, the repeating orange and white striped covers might easily be my earliest memory of a designed product,” said Morrison.
“They had an aura which infused the room with a particular atmosphere which appealed to me,” he continued. “The colours and the design have moved with the times but they still represent a model of how good book design can be, so I’m delighted to have designed the latest in a line of objects for keeping them together at home.”
The Penguin Huddle, which was originally launched at SCP during London Design Festival 2017, will be showcased at the 2018 edition of Maison & Objet, which takes place in Paris between 19 and 23 January.
Here it will be showcased alongside SCP’s new designs for 2018 as well as a selection of products from the British brand’s Permanent Collection.
“Penguin has worked with designers and producers on non-book products in the past, from the ubiquitous mugs and tote bags to the famous Isokon Penguin Donkey shelving unit first produced in 1939,” said the publishers.
“The Huddle is a product for now and the way we display books at home but also for the future,” it continued. “The unit can expand to accommodate more books as a reader’s collection grows with the books, rather than the bookshelf itself, returning to the centre of attention.”
Morrison, who is widely regarded as one of the world’s best industrial designers, set up his Office for Design in London in 1986.
He coined the term Super Normal, which describes the minimalist aesthetic for which he has become renowned and can be seen in everything from his furniture to customisable kitchens and clothing. Over the course of his career he has worked with brands such as Muji, Samsung, Ideal Standard and Camper, and is currently art director of Swiss electronics company Punkt.
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