Apple hires Australian designer Marc Newson

New hire: Designer Marc Newson.

Australian born designer Marc Newson has been hired to work in the creative heart of Apple under the company’s design guru and friend Jony Ive.

Newson, who was named by Time magazine in 2005 as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, will continue to live in London and work on his own outside projects. (Including projects for Palm Products)

Kindred spirit: Apple's chief designer Jony Ive.
Kindred spirit: Apple’s chief designer Jony Ive.

But his new gig apparently entails frequent trips to Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California.

“Marc is without question one of the most influential designers of this generation,” Ive said in a statement provided to Vanity Fair, which broke the story. “He is extraordinarily talented. We are particularly excited to formalise our collaboration as we enjoy working together so much and have found our partnership so effective.”

Newson, who graduated from the Sydney College of Arts in 1984, is a prolific and versatile designer who has had a string of awards and accolades to his name.

Over the years he has designed objects and spaces as varied as a dishwashing rack and saucepan to airline interiors and fitouts for restaurants. He has also designed chairs, watches, boats, cutlery, footwear, clothing, luggage, sunglasses and even a vibrator.

Newson, 50, worked with Ive last year on a charity auction. In an interview at the time they described their mutual admiration.

“You discover that very few people have the level of perfection we do. It is actually very sick,” Newson said. “It is neurotic.”

Ive has been at the core of Apple’s renaissance under the late co-founder Steve Jobs who returned to Apple in 1997 after a decade on the outer.

The English-born senior vice president of design has been the creative inspiration behind almost every key product from the first iMac through to the iPod, iPhone and iPad.

Apple, which is expected to unveil its latest version of the iPhone and a range of other devices at an event in Cupertino on Tuesday (US time), has kept headhunters busy in recent months, hiring a team of highly-respected creative types from outside the world of technology.

Last year Apple poached Angela Ahrendts, the CEO of fashion label Burberry, Yves Saint Laurent’s Paul Deneve and Nike’s Ben Shaffer. This year, Apple welcomed music industry pioneers Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine on board when the company acquired headphone maker Beats Music.

From Vanity Fair – 4th September 2014

Marc Newson to Join Apple’s Design Team (Exclusive)

Marc Newson, Bono, and Jonathan Ive.

Designer Marc Newson is joining Apple as part of senior vice president of design Jonathan Ive’s team, the company told VF Daily on Friday.

Newson, who will continue to be based in the United Kingdom, will be an employee of Apple, and will be frequently traveling to the company’s Cupertino, California, headquarters. The industrial designer has had his work archived by MoMA, and has been commissioned by Ford, Nike, and Qantas Airways, among others.

Ive and Newson, who have been close friends for years, have been spending time together over the past year. During that time, they have also worked on some designs for Apple.

“Marc is without question one of the most influential designers of this generation,” Ive said in a statement provided to VF Daily. “He is extraordinarily talented. We are particularly excited to formalize our collaboration as we enjoy working together so much and have found our partnership so effective.”

The pair previously collaborated on U2 singer Bono’s (RED) auction in November, which raised $26.2 million for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS in Africa. Ive and Newson curated a collection of items, many of which they made themselves.

“I’m full of admiration and respect for the extraordinary design work that has been produced by Jony and the team at Apple,” Newson said. “My close friendship with Jony has not only given me a unique insight into that process, but the opportunity to work together with him and the people that have been responsible. I am enormously proud to join them.”

Newson’s hire comes amid something of staffing up by Apple. The company recently acquired Beats Music, founded by music industry pioneers Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine. Tech-industry observers characterized that move as underscoring the value of tastemakers. Other recent hires by the company include Angela Ahrendts, a former Burberry C.E.O., Yves Saint Laurent’s Paul Deneve, and Nike’s Ben Shaffer.

The company declined to comment when asked if Newson—who will continue to work on projects outside of the company as well—is involved with plans for an anticipated smart watch. Apple has scheduled a launch event for September 9, at which it is expected to unveil the iPhone 6.

Marc Newson’s Midas Touch

Marc Newson was already the most influential industrial designer of his generation when, in 2010, his Lockheed Lounge chair—conceived in 1985, when he was 22—was sold at auction for $2.1 million, a record for a contemporary-design piece. Vaguely peanut-shaped and decidedly un-cozy, the Lockheed is made of a hunk of fiberglass clad in panels of stainless steel, riveted into place, like the surface of a Lockheed Electra fuselage. It was one of the native Australian’s first projects out of the Sydney College of the Arts, where he studied jewelry and sculpture. Newson himself did the pneumatic riveting on the original run of these chairs, building them bespoke as the orders trickled in.

“All I ever seem to be doing—or wanting to do—is master a certain material and process of technology,” he says. “Every project is like a little university degree.”

A new book, titled Marc Newson: Works (Taschen, $1,000), is an encyclopedic catalogue of his creations so far, and could be consulted as a text for designers-in-training who wish to understand the minute steps of the Newsonian process. It covers everything he has ever created. You can track the evolution of his obsession with easy edges and compound curves—legacies of the trailblazers Raymond Loewy and Charles Eames, two giants of mid-20th-century American design, who defined the 1950s and 60s, the era Newson says he likes best. The book runs the gamut from gargantuan projects such as his top-to-bottom design for Qantas’s A380 jumbo jets to his Aquariva speedboat, to the intricately faced Ikepod watches.

“I included the good, the bad, the ugly—and a lot of stuff that never got done,” New­son says of the book. “It’s a bit like going to a shrink, be­cause you get to analyze every single thing. It was a very cathartic experience.”

Embryo Chair, 1988.

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