Chair, 'Wood', beech, designed by Marc Newson, Australia 1988, made by Cappellini, Italy, about 2000
Marc Newson is Australia's most successful contemporary designer. Since graduating from Sydney College of the Arts in 1984 he has worked in Japan, Italy and France and currently runs a high profile international practice in London. During his 15-year career he has designed furniture, lighting, interiors, homewares, a bike, a concept car and a jet. He appears regularly in international design journals and his work is represented in collections throughout the world.
The Powerhouse Museum has supported Newson since early in his career, acquiring one of his first chairs in 1985 and commissioning the 'Embryo' chair in 1988. The 'Wood' chair was designed the same year and further refined the 'hourglass' shape of the 'Embryo' to a simple, almost abstract, 'double curve' form. The chair was originally commissioned by the Crafts Council of New South Wales for an international travelling exhibition called 'The House of Fiction'.
Like the 'Orgone Lounge', the 'Wood' chair represents an important milestone in Newson's career, a watershed between his Sydney and international practices. Although not originally designed for series production, the chair is manufactured today by the big Italian company Cappellini, testifying to its status as a significant example of international 20th century design. The chair complements and enhances the museum's current holdings of Newson's work which include furniture, lighting, watches, homewares, prototypes and sketches and drawings from the period 1985 to 1989, including drawings for the 'Wood' chair (94/196/3).
Designed by Marc Newson. Originally designed as a commissioned piece for a Crafts Council of New South Wales travelling exhibition, 'The House of Fiction: domestic blueprints in wood'. Curated by Craig Bremner, the exhibition was intended to 'encourage interaction between crafts practice and industry' and was shown at the Milan Furniture Fair as well as in Sydney in 1988. Drawings and sketches for the 'Wood' chair are held at 94/196/3.
Made by Cappellini, Italy. The original 'Wood' chair was made by Newson's own company Pod, using Canadian rock maple and Australia coachwood.
The chair was designed in 1988. This example was made about 2000.