Marc Newson – influence of super-designers

Our second lecture of Design and Technology introduced me to Marc Newson, the “superdesigner”, through the documentary Mark Newson Urban Spaceman

I will think about it from my view as a Product Design Engineering Student, yet to fully develop a design philosophy, asking myself what influence should he have on me. What can I gain from his work? What can I learn, strive to achieve from this well renowned designer?

There is a lot to inspire.

He talks about being a “geek” and that designers are geeks. Designers should be obsessed. He is driven by frustration and a desire to change things. There is no question that he thinks differently creating very unique products. The ability and also the confidence to think different is a very valuable trait. He embraces material and technology pushing them to their limits. When the constraint of industrial manufacturing is added he creates beautifully considered objects – where I think his best work is.


Here we can see one of his greatest design characteristics – detail. All details should be greatly considered.

However through all of the program and seen in a lot of his work is a great excessiveness and indulgence. It is clearly seen in one of his celebrated works. The marble table below which was cut out of one block of marble leaving the majority of the block of material as waste.

Marc Newson Marble table


Sustainability does not seem to be a concern. In today’s world sustainability is a real challenge and a challenge that creates better designs and better designers.

Throughout the film, his website and press there is no mention of a design team. It is all him; the brand and the icon. The design process involves numerous people, it is incredibly important and should be celebrated. I do not really care for the idea of this one man designer “rockstar”, it feels like a marketing exercise.

For me his influence on me is summed up by one of his famous products. The ford 021c Concept car. It was designed not as a real product but to encourage the people at ford to think differently and pay attention to the detail.


Marc Newson is to me what the car is to Ford.

Post picture – Lockheed Lounge, 1986