If ever there was a designer who is also a citizen of the world in every sense of the term, it’s Marc Newson. One of the most prolific designers of his generation, Marc, an Australian by birth, has lived and worked in world cities like Tokyo, Paris, and London and continues to travel widely creating artistic masterpieces for a global clientele.
Born as Marc Andrew Newson in Sydney on October 20, 1963, the designer studied jewelry and sculpture at the Sydney College of Arts. He graduated in 1984 and, within two years, was awarded a grant from the Australian Crafts Council. This allowed him to stage the first ever exhibition of his extremely popular Lockheed Lounge chair, which went on to become the most expensive object ever sold by a living designer when it was auctioned for £UK2.4 million in April 2015. It has set three consecutive world records at auction!
He moved to Tokyo in 1987 where he lived and worked until 1991 when he moved to the French capital of Paris and set up a studio there. But his stint in Paris was also short-lived and by 1997, he had moved bag and baggage to London where he set up his company, Marc Newson Ltd, along with his business partner Benjamin de Haan. He also co-founded a fine watch brand called Ikepod and started an aerospace design consultancy.
According to Marc, it was one of his earlier creations – the Embryo Chair which he designed in 1988 – that reflected his unique style of smooth geometric lines, translucency, strength, transparency, and the absence of sharp edges for the first time.
Over the years, Newson has designed many objects ranging from pens, jewelry, clothing, and furniture to bicycles, cars, yachts, and even aircrafts. He serves as the Creative Director of Qantas, the flag carrier airlines of Australia. Since 2003, Newson has been collaborating with the Dutch clothing brand, G-Star, to design a range of luxury leisure wear fusing high-tech fabric with casual designs. More recently, in 2014, Newson teamed up with one of the oldest firearm companies on the globe, Beretta, introducing the elegant re-interpretation of the traditional Beretta shotgun that embodies innovative technology and his passion for rounded form. His penchant for fun and experimentation has led him to work on various architectural projects creating signature sculptural pieces for clients across the world.
Marc’s clients include some of the most prestigious brands in the world and FLOS is one of them. In 2005, he was named among Time magazine’s 100 most influential people and products designed by him remain the most successful and sought-after in the world.
This includes some of the most iconic wall and ceiling lamps that Marc Newson has designed for residential and commercial usage. Among his most-loved modern wall lamps is the striking and futuristic Orotund lamp. “Orotund” means imposing and Marc Newson has ensured that this spectacular wall lamp does complete justice to its name.
His collaboration with German brand Montblanc to produce the Montblanc M redefined luxury writing instruments, while his range of colorful kitchen appliances for Australian brand Sunbeam were described by him as being both “classic and futuristic.”
His work has won him several awards and accolades from both the industry and governments the world over including his most recent Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) award in 2012. He was also appointed the Royal Designer for Industry in the UK and received an honorary doctorate from Sydney University.
He is currently adjunct professor in design at his alma mater, the Sydney College of the Arts. He joined the iconic technology company Apple Inc. in 2014 where he collaborated on the design of their runaway hit – the Apple Watch.
The world needs more designers like him!