Last year I posted a Design Friday article about Marc Newson’s Ford C21 concept car designed in 1999. In that post I talked about Newson’s prolific gift for design and his attention to detail with form, and materials. It is this attention to detail, and his amazing gift for design that has lifted him to the top of the design world and placed him in a group of great masters. Gagosian Gallery in New York has recognized this talent and has opened a show entitled “Transport” which features not only the C21, but a number of items Newson has designed specifically for the transportation industry.
As a kid obsessed with designing and making things, post-war Italian design was a huge source of inspiration. I was amazed by the seamless ability of designers and industry to produce every conceivable type of industrial product, from furniture to automobiles. My own career has undoubtedly been influenced by the Italians’ impact on so many areas of design.
The show will premiere Aquariva , Newson’s reinterpretation of the famous leisure speedboats produced by the iconic Italian boatmaker Riva. Newson brings contemporary styling to Aquariva and draws from its predecessor updating the glamorous lines of the 1960s, the Aquarama. Newson has infused the classic model with his streamlined and forward-looking style using ideas imported from his innovative work in automotive and aerospace design.
As an industrial designer, Newson approaches design as an experimental exercise in extreme structure and advanced technologies, combined with a highly tactile and exacting exploration of materials, processes, and skills. His unique approach to design has a broad and diverse range from concept jets and cars to watches, footwear, jewelry, restaurants, and aircraft interiors. In a world where the distinctions between art and design are becoming increasingly blurred Newson is a trailblazer, having pursued parallel activities in exclusive and mass production for more than twenty years.
Photos by Rob McKeever