Born in Sydney, Australia, Marc Newson emerged as one of that country's leading designers of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Labelled by some critics as the ‘new Starck’ he has worked across a wide range of disciplines including furniture, interiors, lighting, domestic appliance, and transporation design, and has been commissioned by many major clients including Alessi, B&B Italia, Flos, Ford, Ideal Standard, Idée, Nike, Tefal, Shiseido, and Qantas. His work also features in many of the world's leading design collections including those of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Vitra Design Museum in Weilam Rhein, the Musée Nationale d'Art Moderne at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, the Design Museum, London, and the Powerhouse, Sydney.
Having travelled widely in Europe and Asia in his teens, Newson returned to Sydney, where he studied jewellery and fine arts at the Sydney College of the Arts, absorbing a wide range of overseas influences from design magazines as a stimulus for furniture design. Rather than any specialist design training, such sources provided major stimuli for his early design work. In 1984 he was awarded a grant by the Australian Crafts Council, culminating in an exhibition in Sydney two years later in which his organic, aluminium‐surfaced Lockheed Lounge chaise longue featured prominently, catching the imagination of the international design press, where it was widely featured. Other furniture prototypes followed before he moved to Tokyo where he settled from 1987 to 1991 with design ideas such as the Embryo Chair (1988) and Wicker Chair (1990) being put into production by Idée, a company owned by a Japanese entrepreneur, Teruo Kurosaki. Newson's work was exhibited at the Milan Furniture Fair and led to commissions from the Flos lighting and Cappellini furniture companies before moving on to Paris, where he set up a studio in 1991. It was during the 1990s that he designed a number of interiors including restaurants for Coast (1995) in London, Komed (1996) in Cologne, and a recording studio in Tokyo. Newson moved to London in 1997, establishing a new studio, Marc Newson Ltd., with the ambition of working on larger‐scale projects. He developed an increasing number of products for mass production, working closely with Benjamin De Haan, a computer specialist who became his business partner. In addition to glassware for Iittala and furniture for Magis and B&B Italia, Newson worked on a small‐scale 021C concept car for Ford (launched at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1999, and shown at the Detroit Motor Show in 2000), bicycles for the Danish Biomega company, aircraft interiors and seating for the Australian airline Qantas, and the Dessault Falcon 900B private jet. Other commissions have included relighting the Sydney Opera House for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games and uniforms for the Australian Olympic Team to be worn in Athens in 2004. Newson's work has been exhibited in a number of major venues including retrospectives in the Powerhouse, Sydney, in 2001–2 and the Groninger Museum in Holland in 2004. Books devoted to Newson's work have been published by Alice Rawsthorne (1999) and Conway Lloyd Morgan (2003).
Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.