Design to Improve: Marc Newson
Contagious spoke to world renowned industrial designer Marc Newson, famous for creating a huge range of products as diverse as furniture, watches and clothing right through to home draft beer machine the Heineken Sub, a Contagious favourite. Newson recently joined tech giant Apple part time, and also runs his own design company. We caught up with Marc to discuss his views on the increasing importance of design.
How do you consider design to have changed over the years?
For some cultural reason the industrial designer has been hidden behind the object, possibly because most objects are so poorly designed that there has been no interest or curiosity. Thankfully in the last few years this is beginning to change – perhaps because good design can be seen having a real impact on peoples’ lives. The average person is much more design conscious than they were, say, 20 years ago.
Why do you think companies and brands consider design as a more important discipline today?
Design is all about improving things and I believe this message is becoming apparent across all industries. I think it is happening slowly but surely. I admire companies like Heineken who have the courage and foresight to embrace design as a way of differentiating themselves in the marketplace. The design world should take the opportunity to engage with large corporations to make good design accessible on many different levels.
How is design relevant to Heineken’s target audience?
Heineken’s target audience is looking for an improvement to their way of serving beer at home. I think that Heineken’s target audience is someone like myself – someone for whom a functional and beautiful design object that works really well and can be used at home in a social context would be great fun to have.
What are your personal key design principles?
Basically and for me personally, design is really driven by the desire to improve things. It's driven by a sense of unease and a sense of dissatisfaction. You wouldn't be redesigning things or designing things at all if you were happy with the way everything was.