The Arrival of a New Aesthetic in Flatware Design

Strelka speaks to Newson’s deep passion for speed, space travel, sci-fi, and streamlined forms that have been constant themes in his career.

Initially designed by Marc Newson for the Lever House in 2001, the Strelka flatware service announced the arrival of a fully-refined new aesthetic for the firm: sleek, seamless, sculptural; organic and yet industrial; retro-futuristic. Strelka speaks to Newson’s deep passion for speed, space travel, sci-fi, and streamlined forms that have been constant themes in his career—all part of a fascination he traces to watching the Apollo moon landings as a six-year-old boy. “A sense of utopia; a sense of optimism pervaded” that NASA mission, he recalled. “It led me to want to create things, to explore things, to be ambitious.” 

Buzz Aldrin walking on the moon, July 20-21, 1969.

He has designed a concept car for Ford, a prototype jet—the Kelvin 40, for Paris’s Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain in 2003—a powerboat, surfboards, and the interiors of Qantas airliners and private planes. When the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company announced plans in 2007 to start a private space tourism program, Newson was chosen to design the interior of the rocket ship. Even the name, Strelka, comes from the name of the pioneer dog that traveled to space aboard a Russian vessel in 1960.

Belka and Strelka, Russian space dogs.
The Strelka flatware was never put into large-scale production.

The design was produced by Alessi, whose flatware designs survey the creations of many leading contemporary designers—those of young cutting-edge talents such as Jasper Morrison, Marcel Wanders, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec to works by legendary designers like Josef Hoffmann, Ettore Sottsass and Achille Castiglioni. Newson’s Strelka design was expensive to create, as each piece incorporates hollow handles that required additional handwork and thus it was never put into large scale production by the firm. The present lot represents an extensive collection of this legendary service.

I'd love to be approached to do ordinary things more.

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.

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