Acclaimed Australian designer Marc Newson recently teamed up with Pentax to design the Pentax K-01 camera. We asked Marc about his design philosophy and where he seeks inspiration.
Australian design – your thoughts? – I don’t like to think of design in geographical terms. The real problem is the reviewers who divide the world into two camps…Australia and the rest of the world…that’s a myopic view. A designer can no more work only in Australia than in any other single country. To be a good designer you have to forge your own way and be ready and able to take on projects anywhere in the world. Design, as opposed to other industries, is a truly international industry. Australians have a big advantage – they are not afraid of travelling – and that is important.
Marc’s design philosophy – As a designer I feel it is my job to improve things and to look to the future and to think how things will be. I believe in simplicity rather than complexity.
Marc’s design style – I don’t know about any certain style, but I like to think there is a consistency in my work – a thread running through it linking it to me. After all, it is all my dna…
The next design piece I would like to buy for my home – Nothing– in fact I want to get rid of stuff.
My favourite city – Tokyo – I am always excited by the mix of the ancient and traditional with the current craziest pop culture.
My most recent inspiration – King Henry VIII’s armour.
My favourite design object of all time – It is actually a 13th century samurai sword.
I wear – Herringbone denim overalls by Dickies.
My favourite shops –
Tokyu Hands, Tokyo (fascinating to browse there)
G. Lorenzi, Milan (knives, cutlery, metal objects)
Sautter, London (cigars)
John Lobb, London (bespoke shoes)
Charvet, Place Vendome, Paris (nightshirts)
Toraya, Tokyo and Paris (sesame macaroons)
Ippodo Tea Shop, Kyoto (Japanese tea ‘hoji-cha’)
My favourite design style tip – I don’t have style tips, I don’t ever follow trends and I am not aware of any that exist. I am obsessed with the idea of quality. I love the idea that products live and you form an attachment with them. What I am interested in doing is creating beautiful objects that people will love and bond with and keep for their entire life. I am preoccupied with the future, and İ believe that it’s really my job to think about how things will be. That is what inspires me to do what I do…acquiring the knowledge about new processes, technologies and materials. This helps to not only differentiate the product, but to push the technology forward.