aviation-obsessed Newson, these are objects commissioned by
(or pitched to) commercial and municipal clients—a prototype
torch for the Sydney Olympics; a briefcase hybrid for Bally, among
others— that never went into production.
“I thought it would be interesting for people to witness the
amount of work that goes into something and that basically just
kind of vaporizes,” says Newson. “I’m sure younger designers look
at what I do and think my life is a bed of roses and everything
happens exactly the way that I want it to, but it’s really not the
What does materialize throughout the book — and Newson’s
work—is an increasing fascination with new technologies,
whether that means decoding surfboard designers’ “genetic”
understanding of hydrodynamics or the modern marvels coming
from the DARPA labs.
“What fascinates me about things like drones is the technology,”
he says. “It’s wonderful that great things come of technology that
are not necessarily created for ethical reasons.”
One area Newson seems more circumspect about is proper
interior design. Though he’s creating the visual language for all
the Qantas lounges as the airline’s creative director, and his
original design of Lever House is widely considered a modern
masterpiece, Newson is disappointed by the regression of
contemporary architecture trades over the past century. As a
result, “the majority of every project is a prototype,” he reasons.
“So you can’t ever really achieve the level of perfection as I do
when I’m designing a product.”
Perfection may sooner be achieved in space, should he ever
get into orbit. Though the Russian Space Agency has invited him
to three shuttle launches, even this rock-star designer can’t yet
procure the multi-millions for a seat.
“Maybe I can get sponsored by Discovery Channel,” he jokes.
“That would be kind of fun.” Is Marc Newson: Man in Space the
next frontier in the reality TV cosmos?
“It would be the ultimate reality show, wouldn’t it?”n Marc Newson
Works, Limited Edition, Taschen.com