(By Hazal Gumus & Koray Ozsoy)
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Marc Newson, one of the most accomplished and influential designers of his generation, was born in Sydney, Australia in 1963. After spending his childhood travelling in Europe and Asia, he started to study jewellery and sculpture at Sydney College of the Arts. During that period, he had already started experimenting with furniture design and, after graduating in 1984, he was awarded a grant from the Australian Crafts Council, and staged an exhibition - featuring the Lockheed Lounge - at the Roslyn Oxley Gallery in Sydney.
Today at 45, Newson 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.
Marc Newson is currently running two studios; one in Paris and the other in London where he had set up Marc Newson Ltd in 1997 as a larger studio capable of tackling more ambitious industrial projects.
How would you define Marc Newson as a designer today?
What does design mean for you? Is it a profession; is it a lifestyle, or both?
Where does the inspiration come from?
You are saying that you are lucky since your design approach is subliminal. Could you please share with us briefly your most memorable experience(s) which had great influence on your current design approach?
Your projects range from cars to interiors. Do you prefer to work individually; or do you set a team depending on the project you are working on? If we speak about a team, could you describe players of your ideal design team?
Do you involve project owners and users actively in your design process?
Do you have a specific method or planned work chart for your design process?
Which industry do you think is the most interesting one to be working on?
There is a common belief as Italy is the homeland of design. Do you think that there is such a geographical differentiation over the design world? If yes, where would you position yourself?
What do you think has remarkably changed in design world in the last decades?
Currently; designing for the developing world is becoming a visible issue. You are known as a problem solver who mostly designs for the luxury market. What is the main reason for you to choose that direction?
Once you had mentioned: “my hope is that design will not simply become a commercial catch-phrase, but come to define something that implies quality and improvement”. How do you define the successful design?
Form follows function?
Do design and art have to support each other?
We have seen many competitions so far, where participants were asked to imagine and create objects for years like 2020 or 2050. Where do you imagine the future of design and designers?
What should the priorities of design education be?
Do you conduct any projects in collaboration with design universities?
What are your advices for novice designers?
...culture that inspires you?
...country that you want to live?
...cuisine that you like most?
...drink that you prefer?
...painter that had influence on you most?
...writer that you like most?
...kind of book that you prefer?
...movie you like most?
...director you like most?
...style of music you listen to?
...your own design you like most?
...design you like most?
...designer that you respect most?
This interview was made by Hazal Gumus and Koray Ozsoy in November 2009. Designophy ©