Dining chair, 'Coast', wood / plastic, designed and made by Marc Newson, Paris, France / London, England, 1995
Since graduating in sculpture and jewellery from Sydney College of the Arts in 1984, the trajectory of Marc Newson's design career has been remarkable. He has had a prolific international practice, working from studios in Sydney, Tokyo, Paris and, since 1997, London. A highly versatile and consistently experimental designer, Newson's work ranges from furniture and homewares, to interiors and watches, to a car and a bicycle. Comfortable in experimenting with a broad range of technologies and materials, Newson's distinctive curvilinear forms reflect a consistent personal aesthetic drawn from sources as diverse as 1960s design and popular culture, wave forms, sci-fi and quantum physics.
During the mid 1990s Newson lived in Paris and London and was commissioned to design a number of interiors for European restaurants and boutiques. While some of these businesses no longer operate, the furniture Newson designed for them survives as lasting documenation of these important schemes.
The 'Coast' chair was designed in 1995 for the London restaurant of the same name. Newson was commissioned by the restaurant's owner Oliver Peyton, to design the entire two-level interior space and fit-out, including the furniture, tableware, lighting and colour scheme. With an emphasis on soft curving shapes, the restaurant combined elements of the traditional and the familiar (the use of wood in the furniture and parquetry flooring) and the futuristic-looking (the wall and ceiling light fittings). The dining chair echoes this theme in its use of a traditional material (wood) in an unusual shape (the seat and back of the chair were likened by Newson to a TV screen) with distinctively contemporary yellow polyurethane upholstery.
The restaurant has since closed down but the 'Coast' chair was re-released in plastic (air-moulded polypropylene and fibreglass) by the Italian plastics company Magis at the Milan Furniture Fair in 2002. The chair is thus a very good example of Newson's mid-1990s commissioned design work for specific interiors as well as being the forerunner of a contemporary mass-produced version in plastic.
This chair was designed and made by Marc Newson in 1995.
Used in the Coast restaurant, London until (the late 1990s). Loaned to the 'Marc Newson: design works' exhibition (Aug 2001) as part of a large loan from Marc Newson (presumably borrowed by Newson from the current donor). Presumably acquired by the donor from the restaurant when it closed down in (the late 1990s).