Marc Newson is one of the most accomplished and influential designers of his generation. At 43, 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.
In 1987 Newson moved to Tokyo where he lived and worked until 1991 designing such pieces as the Orgone 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, exhibited at the Galerie Kreo in Paris, whose proprietor, Didier Krzentowski, is the leading expert on Newson's works and composes his Catalogue Raisonné. 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, Idée 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 from Qantas Airways to design entire aircraft interiors for the new A380 fleet and new airport lounges for Sydney and Melbourne. 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 was appointed Creative Director of Qantas Airways, and continued working on the A380 interiors and airport lounges. He designed the Marie-Hélène de Taillac (MHT) jewellery store in Tokyo and the Azzedine Alaia shoe boutique in Paris. He created a limited edition champagne magnum container for Dom Pérignon. He was awarded the Designer of the Year prize at Design/Miami.
2007 sees the opening of Marc Newson designed Qantas First Class lounges at Sydney and Melbourne airports and in June the unveiling of his spaceplane, designed for EADS Astrium, the fulfilment of a lifelong personal ambition.
As well as winning numerous awards, including six 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's new unique and limited edition pieces was shown at the Gagosian gallery, New York from January - March 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, Musée 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.
Marc Newson is Adjunct Professor in Design at Sydney College of the Arts, and in the UK has been appointed 'Royal Designer for Industry'.