At this year’s Milan Furniture Fair, the U.K. manufacturer Established & Sons will open a second chapter in what’s been dubbed the “Crateoversy” of 2006: The $170 bedside table that last year made Jasper Morrison the subject of more drama than a pregnant cheerleader is back, with its brand-new offspring in tow.
For Crate Series, Established & Sons offered Morrison the opportunity to expound on his original concept of faithfully re-creating a basic wine cratehe’d been happily using one to store books in his own apartment for yearsbut with much higher production values. The new line comprises five variously sized, lidded and footed storage boxes constructed from solid yellow pine, whose only flourishes come in the form of exposed dovetail joints and thin, brightly colored stripes.
If the press ascribed Morrison’s first Crate to either pure arrogance or a valiant attempt to question the celebrity-driven commercial side of design by elevating an anonymous object with his signature, the British designer himself remained unflappable throughout the whole affair. “It wasn’t supposed to be subversive,” he was quoted saying in December, “just a sharing of something useful.” With Crate Series his aims are equally practical: Though they can also be used as tables (no. 1 through no. 4) and a bed (no. 5), each storage piece was developed around the dimensions of a specific object Morrison has a personal fondness forno. 2, for example, is the perfect size to hold a stack of croquet mallets. Whether it can close the lid on last year’s debate, though, remains to be seen.