Apple has just beefed up its design team.
According to Vanity Fair, industrial designer Marc Newson is joining Apple. He will work under the company's senior vice president of design, Jony Ive. He will also remain based in the UK - but as an employee of Apple - and plans to frequently travel to Cupertino.
Newson's hire follows a round of big staffing changes at Apple over the last year that has included the hiring of Angela Ahrendts, the former CEO at Burberry, Yves Saint Laurent's Paul Deneve, and Nike's Ben Shaffer. Pocket-lint has previously detailed how Ahrendts, Deneve, and Shaffer will help Apple to tackle fashionable wearables and more, but now we've pondered all the reasons why Apple hired Newson and what he will potentially do for the company.
Keep reading if you want to learn more.
Who is he?
Newson is from Sydney and is considered an influential designer because he's designed everything from furniture and commercial aircraft to sculptures and cars. He now lives in London and has clients that include prestigious brands, technology companies, and fashion and luxury labels. He has also founded and ran several companies such as an aerospace design firm, and he's even the current creative director at Qantas Airways.
You can see his creations in major museum collections, including the MoMA in New York, and according to his website, his pieces now account for almost 25 per cent of the total contemporary design art market at auctions. In fact, Time magazine once listed him under 100 Most Influential People in the World, and he was most recently created CBE by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
How does he know Jony Ive?
Newson and Ive, Apple's head of design and the man behind the design of the iPhone, the iPad and the iPod - as well as iOS 7 and iOS 8 - have been friends for more than 15 years. They met in Japan, according to The New York Times, which published a lengthy profile on the designer and his most celebrated works.
Although Newson has worked on many projects and served as a consultant for various clients, such as Canon, Gap, Ford, Maybelline, Microsoft, Muji, Nike, Nestle, YSL, and more, he is most famous - at least in the tech world - for his collaboration with Ive on Project (RED), a charity started by the singer Bono to benefit victims of AIDS in Africa. Newson teamed up with Ive to produce an auction of what they described as great objects of design to benefit Project (RED).
Many of the objects were items Newson and Ive had curated, though the collection also had a number of objects that the designers had tweaked for the auction. A Hermes saddle in red leather, for instance, sold for $110,000. Some of the items were also entirely designed by Newson and Ive, both separately and together. A special version of Jaeger-LeCoultre's Atmos clock with red hands went for $350,000, and a cylindrical Mac Pro in red went for $810,000, among other things.
In a statement to Vanity Fair, Ive said of Newson: “Marc is without question one of the most influential designers of this generation. He is extraordinarily talented. We are particularly excited to formalize our collaboration as we enjoy working together so much and have found our partnership so effective.”
You can watch the two designers interact and talk about Project (RED) in the video above. Their efforts for the charity ultimately raised $26.2 million that went toward the Global Fund to Fight AIDS.
What else has he designed in the past?
You can see a portofilio of Newson's work and various projects on his website. He has designed everything from a Micarta Chair to the K-01 by Pentax Ricoh.
What will he do at Apple?
Apple hasn't explained what Newson will do for the company, though Vanity Fair reported Newson is joining Apple as part of Ive's design team. Apple is very secretive about its design team. Ive however once told The New York Times it as a "very small team" that has worked together for 15 or 20 years.
The Senior Vice President of Industrial Design also brought his whole 16-member team to the Design and Art Direction awards in England in 2012, when he collected the award for ”best brand and the best design studio of the last 50 years". It's not clear if that team, pictured above, has changed much since then.
That said, all team members are responsible for crafting the appearance of every Apple product (including Macs, iPhones, iOS, etc). It's therefore safe to assume Newson will help both Ive and Apple's industrial design team craft more products that will blow us away.
In a statement to Vanity Fair, Newson said he admires Ive and Apple's extraordinary design work and is "enormously proud to join them".
Why should you care?
Newson + Ive = More brilliantly-designed goodness from Apple.