I'm the urban spaceman, baby, I could fly,
I'm a supersonic guy
I'm the urban spaceman, baby, I'm making out,
I'm all about
I wake up every morning with a smile upon my face
My natural exuberance spills out all over the place
I'm the urban spaceman, I'm intelligent and clean,
Know what I mean?
These words (from Neil Innes's hit lyric for the Bonzo Dog Doodah Band in 1968) could be describing the designer Marc Newson. Born in Sydney in 1964, and now with offices in Paris and London, Newson has flown supersonically (in a Mig 29 fighter aircraft) and has built a sky-high reputation for cool and original design, whether in furniture, interiors or products. His 021C concept car for Ford wowed the Tokyo Motor Show, Madonna shimmied around his Lockheed Lounge couch in her video Rain, and his restaurant in New York's famous Lever building opened in spring 2002.
In moving from Sydney to London, via Paris and Tokyo, Marc Newson has brought with him the vivid excitement of Australian popular and beach culture, and refined and developed it through a passionate interest in materials and technology. The result is a body of work shot through with intelligence and wit, urbanity and color which has been delighting the design world for a decade, and is set to charm the rest of the world in the future. For Newson has made the magic transition from a craft designer working in the important but small world of specialist furniture and lighting such as Flos and Alessi, to working for major international industrial clients, such as Ford and Nike.
And so unlike Innes's urban spaceman ('here comes the twist-- I don't exist') Marc Newson is here to stay.