In 2006, this idea was articulated as “Super Normal”, in a book and exhibition of the same name that Morrison produced in collaboration with Naoto Fukasawa. In the introduction to the book, he explains that 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.” The Glo-Ball family of lights, which he designed in 1998 for Italian lighting manufacturer Flos, is an important product on his journey towards the idea of “Super Normal”. The product is both a perfectly resolved physical representation of this approach to design, and a vindication of this approach.
The Glo-Ball is a product of great beauty, which looks like a moon in the room. Morrison is reputed to have worked on the design for five years before it was finally launched in 1998. It was, and has continued to be, a huge commercial success for Flos. The original brief Morrison worked on was to create a light that was suitable for any situation. Glo-Ball meets this brief by being available in different sizes, as either a table, floor, wall, ceiling, suspension or basic unmounted version. The base and stem are made from grey painted high-thickness steel, there is a dimmer on the cable and the diffuser is supported on a die-cast aluminium mount. Functionally the Glo-Ball is very versatile, but that alone doesn’t make it a great object. In my view, there are two elements that really elevate the Glo-Ball into something meaningful. The first is the even, diffuse light that it emits from its matt surface, which is achieved by the exposing the opaline glass shade to acid. The second is the fact that it’s not a perfect ball at all, rather it’s more of a slightly squashed ball, which for some reason is more right.