Apple designer Marc Newson’s most irresistible designs for outdoor adventure

The sleek, stylish and practical Extravaganza. Photo by marc-newson.com
The sleek, stylish, and practical Extravaganza. Photo: Courtesy of marc-newson.com

Australian Marc Newson has been described as the most influential designer of his generation. While having recently joined Apple as senior vice president of design under Jonathan Ive, he already has 30 years of experience creating everything from furniture and household objects to bicycles, cars, surfboards, aircraft, yachts, airport lounges, clothes, and sculptures. Here we take a look at just some of his wackiest, most iconic and most irresistible designs.

The MNO1 Extravaganza
Designed in 1999, Newson used “superplastic aluminum” to create the bike’s sleek, light, and strong curves (see pic above), while its 14 gears, front suspension, and hydraulic disc brakes made it revolutionary for the turn of century.

The Surfboard
For this—one of 10 surfboards machined from 10 kilograms of hollow nickel, the material usually used for helicopter rotor blades—Newson teamed up with shaper Dick Brewer to make a board for big-wave surfer Garrett McNamara back in 2007. McNamara apparently lost the board in a wipeout, but recovered it later, and it is now on display at the Gagosian Gallery in New York. At a recent Sotheby’s auction, one of the boards sold for $200,000.

Like a silver bullet, just more expensive. Photo marc-newson.com
Like a silver bullet, just more expensive. Photo: Courtesy of marc-newson.com

The Ford 021C
This was a concept car first shown to the public at the 1999 Tokyo Car Show. The retro 1950s-inspired four-door sedan, with a slide-out trunk, four interior seats that swiveled on pedestals, and a jewel-like dashboard, was never meant for production, but became a design classic.

Not much good for a long haul, but it sure looks good. Photo marc-newson.com
Not much good for a long haul, but it sure looks cool. Photo: Courtesy of marc-newson.com

The Body Jet
Taking his cues from science-fiction TV shows, Newson imagined a vehicle that could bring jet-pack travel to the masses. Commissioned by a French aerospace company, it featured a carbon fiber yellow-and-black body with a single large engine providing thrust and enough fuel capacity for approximately 45 minutes of airtime.

Didn't quite make it to mass production, but it was a big step closer to the Jetsons. Photo by marc-newson.com
It didn’t quite make it to mass production, but it was a big step closer to “The Jetsons.” Photo: Courtesy of marc-newson.com

The Aquariva
A reinterpretation of the Aquariva boat design that incorporates anodized aluminum and a textile-based laminate with the appearance of wood, 22 boats were made for Riva, the iconic Italian boat-maker established in 1842. Each speedboat’s asking price was a cool $1.5 million.

The Aquariva comes with anl Italian Supermodel as optional extra. Photo by Riva
The Aquariva comes with an Italian supermodel as an optional extra. Photo: Courtesy of Riva

The Leica M for (RED)
Newson collaborated with Ive to create a unique Leica digital rangefinder camera. It featured a laser-machined anodized aluminum enclosure, a full-frame CMOS sensor, and a high-performance processor. It sold for $1.8 million at the RED Auction in 2013, making it the world’s most expensive digital camera.

A steal at a mere $1.8 million. Photo by Leica and RED
A steal at a mere $1.8 million. Photo: Courtesy of Leica and RED

The Zvezdochka Sneakers
Newson was inspired by the early astronauts’ footwear and named these, first released in 2004, after a dog sent into space by Russia aboard “Sputnik 10” in 1961. In 2014 the trainers were re-released with Mark Parker, CEO of Nike, saying, “We knew we had broken new ground: a shoe with four interchangeable parts. It was such a simplified process and led to new exploration in how products are made and the potential for customization.”

Named after a dog, made for zero gravity. Photo by Nike
Named after a dog, made for zero gravity. Photo: Courtesy of Nike

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