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Transmission: Tuesday, 4th March 2008

Marc Newson: Urban Spaceman

Alan Yentob meets the industrial designer Marc Newson, whose latest project is a suborbital jet that just might be the future of long-distance travel.

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Marc Newson: Urban Spaceman 

Episode Guide: Marc Newson: Urban Spaceman

Episode Guide: Marc Newson: Urban Spaceman

Posted: Wednesday, 27th February 2008

Marc Newson is an industrial designer whose imagination knows no bounds. He has created everything from the iconic Lockheed Lounge chair - the most expensive piece of furniture by a living designer ever to sell at auction - to coat hangers, dish drainers and vibrators. His latest and most audacious project is a suborbital jet that just might be the future of long-distance travel.

In this profile, Marc Newson talks to Alan Yentob about his inspirations, thought processes and designs. He remembers when, aged just 23, he sculpted the Lockheed Lounge from a piece of foam in a frenzied few days. “It felt like a monumental moment.” He couldn’t get rid of the Lounges back then. Today, with just thirteen in existence, they are one of the most sought-after collectors’ items in the world.

The programme follows Newson to Bodylines, an extraordinary Aston Martin panel beating workshop outside Milton Keynes, where men who usually work on vintage cars create his limited-edition furniture pieces - and one craftsman gives him a piece of his mind about the flaws in his Black Hole table.

In the marble quarries of Carrara in Italy, we see the processes behind his exquisite sculptures. Newson’s designs push marble into contemporary shapes, with each piece carved from one individual block. The programme also takes in the launch of Newson’s Space Plane, which, he hopes, will one day do exactly what it says on the tin.

Marc Newson: Urban Spaceman, BBC One, 4th March 2008, 10.35pm.

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