Marc Newson for Syn Studios

A One-Of-A-Kind Desk

With characteristic abandon, Marc Newson reveled in the technical and aesthetic challenge of designing a recording studio. Commissioned in 1996 by Simon le Bon, Yasmin la Bon and his friend, Nick Wood, Newson was just emerging as a dominant figure in the world of design.  “Up until that point I had been typecast as a ‘wacky’ young designer who was doing slightly crazy things, but at that moment, working with such a cutting edge and technically driven space, I had to really embrace the idea of working with particular areas of expertise that I didn’t really know anything about.” Syn Studios would go on to be a defining work by Newson, leading him to the technically oriented design for which he is famous.

Syn Studios. ©Nacása & Partners inc ®

In Syn Studios, Newson created a total environment, designing all aspects of the interior from furnishings to the floor. “Designing Syn recording studios in Tokyo, Japan was without doubt one of my most important interiors projects. It is truly unique, a one-off. Never done before and never to be done again.”

He took special pride in designing the executive desk for his friend and spared little in its beautiful construction and lacquered surface. The desk, with its spare black and white coloration, perforated elements and perfection of surface finish, is a tour-de-force of Newson design. It is the first of his furniture forms to feature radius curved edges, a now signature motif.

Syn Studios. ©Nacása & Partners inc ®

“It was designed for my best friend, I put a lot of extra effort into that place – more than I would have done for just about anyone else. It was at a moment in my career when I could devote such time. I could really labour over things and have fun. Designing one off pieces of furniture is a luxury that, as ridiculous as it sounds, I can rarely afford now.”

The thing that has always driven me as a designer is feeling pissed off by the shitty stuff around me and wanting to make it better.

—Marc Newson

Marc Newson b. 1964

Born in Sydney in 1963, Marc Newson spent his childhood traveling in Europe and Asia. His mother took a job working for a leading Australian architecture firm, exposing Newson to design at early age. He attended Sydney College of the Arts to study jewelry and sculpture, graduating in 1984. Newson was awarded a grant from the Australian Crafts Council to stage his first exhibition where he presented his Lockheed Lounge Chair that would be purchased by the National Gallery of Southern Australia. Newson moved to Tokyo in 1989 where he met the owner of Idée, Teuro Kurosaki with whom he would produce numerous designs for over the years. From Tokyo, Newson moved to Paris before settling in London and opening his own design studio, Marc Newson Ltd. Not one to be categorized, Newson has designed cars, jets, and watches in addition to his iconic furniture. In 2005, Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world. His work is housed in the collections of several major museums around the globe including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.

Auction Results Marc Newson