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Marc Newson

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Marc Newson Biography

Marc Newson is one of the most accomplished and influential designers of his generation. At 42, he has already worked across a wide range of disciplines to create everything from chairs, household objects, a bicycle and a concept car to restaurants, a recording studio and interiors of private and commercial jets, for clients based in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia.

Born in Sydney, Australia, Newson spent his childhood travelling in Europe and Asia, before studying jewellery and sculpture at Sydney College of the Arts. He started experimenting with furniture design as a student and, after graduating in 1984, was awarded a grant from the Australian Crafts Council, and staged an exhibition - featuring the Lockheed Lounge - at the Roslyn Oxley Gallery in Sydney.

When the Japanese entrepreneur, Teruo Kurosaki, offered to put his designs into production, Newson moved to Tokyo, where he lived and worked from 1987 to 1991. Kurosaki's company, Idee, manufactured such pieces as the OOrgone Lounge, Black Hole Table and Felt Chair, which were widely exhibited in Asia and Europe.

Newson set up a studio in Paris in 1991, and won commissions from prestigious European manufacturers including Flos for lighting, Cappellini and Moroso for furniture. He formed a joint venture, the Ikepod Watch Company, to manufacture the watches he designed, and produced limited editions of aluminium furniture including the Event Horizon Table and Orgone Chair. During the mid-late 1990s, Newson also designed a series of restaurants - Coast in London, Manchester's Mash & Air, Osman in Cologne and Canteen in Manhattan - the interior of Syn, a Tokyo recording studio and a retail system for Belgian designer, Walter Von Beirendonck's W.&L.T. street wear label.

In 1997, Newson moved to London, where he set up Marc Newson Ltd as a larger studio capable of tackling more ambitious industrial projects. He has since designed mass manufactured glassware for Iittala, kitchen and bathroom accessories for Alessi, furniture, lighting and household objects for Magis, B&B Italia, Idee and Dupont Corian. Newson has also designed vehicles such as a bicycles, the MN01, for Denmark's Biomega, a concept car, the 021C for Ford, and the interiors of a Falcon 900B private jet. In 2002-3 he designed the Lever House Restaurant in the famous Lever House Building in Manhattan, New York, a Business Class seat, Skybed for Qantas, a cookware range for Tefal and a bathroom range, The Newson Suite, for Ideal Standard. He opened a second studio in Paris.

In 2004/5 Newson received the commission to design entire aircraft interiors including airport lounges for the new A380 fleet for Qantas. He designed Talby, a mobile telephone for Japan's KDDI, the uniforms worn by the Australian Olympic team (in collaboration with Richard Allan), and worn at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, a shoe, Zvezdochka, for Nike, collections of clothing for G-Star, and 'Scope' a range of luggage for Samsonite. He designed the bar and the sixth floor of the Hotel Puerta America in Madrid. In April 2005, Marc Newson was named as one of Time magazine's Top 100 most influential people in the world.

In 2006, Marc is appointed Creative Director of Qantas Airways, and continues working on the A380 interiors and airport lounges. He designs the Marie-Helene de Taillac (MHT) jewellery store in Tokyo and the Azzedine Alaia shoe boutique in Paris. He creates a presentation magnum champagne bottle in a strictly limited edition set for Dom Perignon.

As well as winning numerous awards, including five Good Design Awards from the Chicago Atheneum, Newson has exhibited extensively. He created Bucky, a sculptural installation for the Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain in Paris in 1995, and a major retrospective of his work was held at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney (August 2001 - February 2002).

In 2003, Newson was commissioned by the Fondation Cartier to design a piece of his choosing, coinciding with his 40th birthday. The result was Kelvin40, a concept jet, exhibited at the Fondation Cartier in Paris (January - May 2004) and included in Marc's first major European retrospective originally staged at the Groninger Museum, Holland (May - September 2004) and consequently at London's Design Museum (October 2004 - January 2005). An exhibition of Marc Newson new limited edition pieces will be presented by the Gagosian gallery, New York, in January 2007.

Newson's designs are present in most major permanent museum collections including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, London's Design Museum, Musee national d'Art moderne - Centre Georges Pompidou and the Vitra Design Museum. A book on Marc Newson's work was published by Booth-Clibborn Editions in 1999, and one by Thames & Hudson in 2001. A DVD was released in January 2005, and a monograph for Phaidon is planned.

Marc Newson is Adjunct Professor in Design at Sydney College of the Arts.

Select Timeline

Select Exhibitions

  • 1986 - Seating for six, Roslyn Oxley, Sydney - Australia
  • 1988 - Works of Marc Newson, Idee, Tokyo - Japan
  • 1990 - Fresh produce by Marc Newson, Gold & Idee, Tokyo - Japan
  • 1991 - Tom Dixon, Marc Newson, Kris Ruhs : una stanza, Galleria Carla Sozzani, Milan - Italy
  • 1991 - Marc Newson, VIA, Paris - France
  • 1991 - Marc Newson, C&Bi Interior, Stockholm - Sweden
  • 1993 - Raum & Form, Galery Artificial, Nuremberg - Germany
  • 1993 - Marc Newson (Moroso), Galleria Massimo De Carlo, Milan - Italy
  • 1993 - Design, miroir du siecle, Grand Palais, Paris - France
  • 1993 - Les Secrets Cartesiens, Espace Victoria, Paris - France
  • 1993 - 150 Years of International design Vitra Design Museum, Berlin - Germany
  • 1994 - Wormhole, Internos Bis, Milan - Italy
  • 1994 - Felt Filz, CDC Group, Frankfort - Germany
  • 1994 - Le Paris des createurs, Thema Domus Design Fair, Frankfort - Germany
  • 1994 - Sieges en vedette, Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Lausanne - Switzerland
  • 1994 - Art to Swatch, Chicago Athenaeum, Chicago - USA
  • 1995 - 13 after Memphis, Fur Kunsthandwerk Applied Art Museum, Frankfort am Main - Germany
  • 1995 - 100 Masterpieces, Vitra Design Museum, Berlin - Germany
  • 1995 - Bucky: de la chimie au design, Fondation Cartier pour l'Art Contemportain, Paris - France
  • 1996 - Blend Collection, Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Paris - France
  • 1996 - Traffic, CAPC, Bordeaux - France
  • 1996 - Conran Foundation Collection, Design Museum, London - UK
  • 1996 - Magie des Plastiques, Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts, Paris - France
  • 1996 - Blend Collection, Design Museum, London - UK
  • 1997 - Marc Newson, Villa de Noailles, Hyeres - France
  • 1998 - Living Rooms for Cappellini, London - UK
  • 1998 - Review Gallery, Design Museum, London - UK
  • 1998 - Kiss the Future! Walter Van Beirendonck / W.&L.T. in collaboration with Marc Newson, Boijmans Museum, Rotterdam - Holland
  • 1999 - Marc Newson, Jasper Morisson & Michael Young - Design Kjarvalsstadir Exhibition Hall, Reykjavik Art Museum, Reykjavik - Iceland
  • 1999 - Review Gallery, Design Museum, London - UK
  • 1999 - Marc Newson, McLellan Gallery, Glasgow - UK
  • 2000 - Marc Newson, Galerie Kreo, Paris - France
  • 2001 - Marc Newson : Design Works, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney - Australia
  • 2001 - Curator of the Conran Foundation Collection, Design Museum, London - UK
  • 2001 - Aluminum by Design: Jewelry to Jets, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh (and touring) - USA / Europe
  • 2001 - Great Expectations, New York Grand Central Station, New York - USA / worldwide
  • 2002 - Milan in a Van, Victoria & Albert Museum, London - UK
  • 2002 - Marc Newson - Bertrand Lavier, Galerie Kreo, Paris - France
  • 2003 - Zenith Chair - Marc Newson, Galerie Kreo, Paris - France
  • 2003 - L'Observateur du Design, Cite des Sciences et de l'Industrie, Paris - France
  • 2003 - Miroirs, Galerie Kreo, Paris - France
  • 2003 - De-Lighted by Corian, Corian Dupont, Milan Fair - Italy
  • 2003 - The Origin of Things, Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum, Rotterdam - Holland
  • 2003 - Designmuseums of the World, Neues Museum, Nuremberg - Germany
  • 2004 - Design en stock, Collection Fonds national d'art contemporain - Palais de la Porte doree, Paris - France
  • 2004 - Trafic d'influences : Art & Design, Collection Frac Nord-Pas de Calais - Le Tri postal, Lille - France
  • 2004 - Radical Design, Collection Frac Nord-Pas de Calais - Le Bon Marche, Paris - France
  • 2004 - Desir d'objets, Grand-Hornu Images, Hornu - Belgium
  • 2004 - The Amazing chairs of Samuel Gragg, Winterthur Museum, Delaware (and touring USA) - USA
  • 2004 - Marc Newson, Groninger Museum, Groninger - Holland
  • 2004 - Kelvin40 by Marc Newson, Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, Paris - France
  • 2004 - Marc Newson, Galerie Kreo, Paris - France
  • 2005 - Big Bang, Destruction et creation dans l'art du 20eme siecle - Centre Pompidou, Paris - France
  • 2006 - Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Paris - France
  • 2006 - Collection of the Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain - MOT Tokyo - Japan

Select Designs

  • Ikepod watches
  • A collection of fittings and a sink for Ideal Standard in 2003
  • A Magnum Presentation Set for Dom Perignon in 2006
  • The Dish Doctor for Magis in 1997
  • The Scope series of bags for Samsonite
  • Cookware for Tefal
  • Items for Alessi.
  • The O21C Concept Car for the Ford Motor Company in 1999
  • Clothes for the clothing company G-Star Raw
  • The business class seat 'Skybed' for Qantas, where he also heads up the interior design team for the Qantas A380 to be delivered in 2007

Quotes

  • "But if you are an artist then you don't have to just make pictures on canvas. It's just about expression and expressing yourself."
  • "Design schools are good, I guess, sometimes I visit schools, but they are very very limiting."
  • "I approach design in a fairly subliminal way which is lucky because I don't have time to think about it too much."
  • "I like a lot of music, but I don't like a lot of the design, so one of the things I'm doing is reinterprating it my way."
  • "I think it's really important to design things with a kind of personality."
  • "If somebody asked me about my inspiration I would say that it's not the peopleand it's not the things, it's travel and experiencing different environments."
  • "If people like it then it's good, if they don't like it then it's still no problem."
  • "If you can just be yourself, then you have to be original because there's no one like you."
  • "My clothes are on the floor because I am waiting for the coat hanger that I designed to arrive-I've been waiting for two years-I don't buy coat hangers."
  • "So if I want to buy a light in a shop and I don't find a light that I like, I think to myself what would I like? What would I like to buy? Then I started to imagine and design it for myself a lot of the time."
  • "Then I started to do furniture and interiors for a friend and just to get stuff in a magazine, and then slowly started to build up and started to doing exhibitions."
  • "Well, I never studied design and I went to art school to study art, you know, sculpture and things like that, and ended up making things like sculpture and started making chairs and jewelry together and that's how I started."
  • "Yeah, my dream would be to work for 6 months and then have 6 months to play, just snowboarding, surfing, and going to cool places to listen and be alone and kinda chill out."

Publications

  • Marc Newson - by Alice Rawsthorn, Booth-Clibborn (March 15, 2000)
  • Marc Newson (Universe Architecture Series) - by Conway Lloyd Morgan, Universe Publishing (July 18, 2003)
  • Pop On Pop Off (Misc. Supplies) - by Marc Newson, Sue-An Van Der Zijpp, Mark Wilson, Artimo; Boxed edition (August 15, 2004)

Quick Facts

  • Marc incorporates a design style known as biomorphism to his various designs. this style uses smooth flowing lines, translucency, transparency and the absence of sharp edges to create a beautiful and ergonomic design.
  • More recently, his work has become amongst the most coveted at auction. His Lockheed Lounge (designed in 1986 shortly after he graduated from schoo and one of the items that established him as a designer) sold for $968,000 at Sotheby's in 2006.
  • In 2005, he was selected as one of TIME magazine's 100 most influential people of the year.

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