Sooper design brings emerging and innovative Designers from around Australia to you!
Marc Newson is the most acclaimed and influential designer of his generation. He has worked across a wide range of disciplines, creating everything from furniture and household objects, to bicycles and cars, private and commercial aircraft, yachts, various architectural commissions, and signature sculptural pieces for clients across the globe.
Born in Sydney, Newson spent much of his childhood travelling in Europe and Asia. He started experimenting with furniture design as a student and, after graduation, was awarded a grant from the Australian Crafts Council with which he staged his first exhibition - featuring the Lockheed Lounge - a piece that has now, twenty years later, set three consecutive world records at auction.
Newson has lived and worked in Tokyo, Paris, and London where he is now based. His clients include a broad range of the best known and most prestigious brands in the world - from manufacturing and technology to transportation, fashion and the luxury goods sector. He is currently the Creative Director of Qantas Airways. Many of his designs have been a runaway success for his clients and have achieved the status of modern design icons.
Marc Newson was included in Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. He was awarded a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) by Her Majesty the Queen.
His work is present in many major museum collections, including the MoMA in New York, London’s Design Museum and V&A, the Centre Georges Pompidou and the Vitra Design Museum.
Robert Wilson started his career as an engineer, after completing a degree in Engineering at the University of Melbourne. After a few years working as an engineer, he moved to the UK to study a Master of Business Administration at the University of Manchester, before returning to Melbourne to pursue a career in sales and marketing.
During his childhood, Robert was introduced to skiing and sailing, sports which he is passionate about to this day. His earliest skiing experiences were via rope tows on Mt Kosciouszko, and in the summers he was sailing at Daveys Bay in Mt Eliza. He now skis at Mt Hotham in the winter, and has hiked from Hotham to Falls Creek and back on several occasions, as well as climbing Mt Feathertop numerous times and ski touring the famous “Haute Route” from Chamonix to Zermat, most at an altitude above 4,000 meters. He still sails and can be seen on Port Philip Bay in the summers on his Sabre dingy. It’s a sense of adventure, pitting oneself against the physical and mental challenges of nature, and ability to overcome seamlessly impossible obstacles that, in part, drives his commitment to succeed. This, all in spite of the challenges he’s encountered during the past 20 years in manufacturing. Robert still enjoys running, competing in a cross country competition on Saturdays during the winter.
After 16 years of working for some of the most recognisable brands in Australia, Robert decided to go out on his own, using skills developed during his years at Cadbury Schweppes, Herbert Adams, where he was General Manager, and at Cussons. His success in sales and marketing and making decisions autonomously permeate the Palm Plastics business. He settled on plastics manufacturing for a number of reasons, but mainly because of its scalability. Plastic manufacturing doesn’t require a massive one-off investment in machinery, and allows for machines to be purchased as required.
Each role Robert held in business development, marketing, sales and management imparted a valuable lesson, but perhaps none more so than Herbert Adams. The business was turned around under Robert’s stewardship from a brand that consumers had deserted to one that they again embraced. This understanding and identification with the consumer drives the Palm Plastics business today. As an engineer, Robert believes that utility and ergonomics precede form and that products must fulfil a need that is essentially personal. In the case of most plastic drinkware, and indeed product development, the design process happens in reverse.
The result, a little like Robert himself, is products that aren’t being made anywhere else in the world, to a much higher standard than competitive offerings, with an almost timelessness that only intuition through experience can create.