Defined by a single uninterrupted line, the design brings Marc Newson’s signature
combination of organic forms and precision engineering to the Knoll seating portfolio.
Echoing the futuristic vocabulary that characterizes his work, the side chair for Knoll
marries hard and soft, solid and transparent, in a striking form that seems to levitate in
Commenting on his work for Knoll, Marc Newson said, “Knoll’s modernist tradition
provided the launchpad to imagine a chair for twenty-first century working and living.”
Newson and Benjamin Pardo, Knoll Design Director, agreed that a new side chair for
Knoll would honor the aesthetic principles that inform the existing portfolio of Knoll
Seating, specifically the cantilevered designs.
Newson and Pardo revisited several Knoll designs, starting with Mies van der Rohe’s
Brno Chair. Celebrated for its lean profile and simple details, the Brno Chair reflects the
groundbreaking simplicity of its original locale – the Tugendhat House in Brno, Czech
Republic, designed by Mies.
While the Brno Chair served as a catalyst for the exploration, it was ultimately the 1928
Tugendhat Chair that most inspired Newson’s final design. Pardo explained, “Newson’s
Aluminum Chair really pays tribute to Mies’s Tugendhat Chair, employing a similar
reverse cantilever. This reverse cantilever evokes a visual weightlessness and renders
an incredibly simple profile, where the seat floats effortlessly and is joined to the back
via the legs of the chair.”
“We wanted to reimagine the tubular steel construction revolutionized at the Bauhaus–
which is transitively tied to Knoll–with Newson’s unique ability to imagine organic,
almost futuristic shapes,” Pardo recalled.
With this in mind, Newson forwent tubular steel in favor of cast aluminum, a material he
felt allowed for a more dynamic form. The chair consists of three high-pressure
castings–a main frame and two end caps–which connect to create a remarkably simple,
yet structurally sound frame. To Newson’s liking, the complexity of the engineering is
made invisible through mechanical precision and streamlined design.
The mesh seat and back integrate seamlessly with the frame, further emphasizing the
chair’s visual purity. To evoke a more residential feel, Newson selected a mesh that is
tightly knit and is softer to the touch.
The Newson Aluminum Chair is offered in combinations of three frame colors: black,
warm white, and grey; and six mesh colors: black, grey, blue, red, yellow, and white. In
addition, the stacking chair has two versions: arm and armless.
Born 1963 Sydney, Australia. 1984 graduated from the Sydney College of the Arts, in jewellery and sculpture design. 1986 awarded a grant from the Australian Crafts Council, and staged a first exhibition - featuring the Lockheed lounge - at the Roslyn Oxley gallery in Sydney. Designed first of the Pod series of watches. 1987 Newson moved to Tokyo, where he lived and worked to 1991. Teruo ... More