Manufacturing Technologies And Material Cultures Cultural Studies Essay

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Marc Newson who is an Austrian was born in Sydney, however, he has passed his childhood in United Kingdom, Korea and Austria; therefore, he has great view of art in different cultures. Marc Newson is graduated from the Sydney College of arts in Jewellerys and Sculpture, however, he is not only good at designing jewelry and sculpture but he is also outstanding on furniture design, product design, clothing, aircraft design and interior; his designing style is biomorphism and he has expressed this on most of his designs. Therefore, he gains his first opportunity of exhibition very soon after he graduates in 1986, and "Lockheed Lounge" is the most important exhibit in this exhibition because it makes him much more famous and being recognized by Teruo Kurisaki who is the boss of IDEE.

Shiro Kuramata was born in Japan and he is graduated from Kuwasawa Institute of Design. Shiro Kuramata is a well known furniture designer is one of the most important designers in 20th century in Japan, and his designs affect to Europe a lot during 1970s to 1980s as well. He is good at furniture design and interiors, and he likes to combine a lot of different materials and use special materials such as transparent plastic which is presented very often on his work. He uses abstractionism and minimalism into Bauhaus; and combine them to eastern culture to produce surreal works. "How high the moon" is one of the typical products of his design since it is made at his later year; it presents mature and perfect combination.

Materials: aluminum and fiberglass

Size: W. 10.5*D. 27.5*H 14.7 cm

Marc Newson, Lockheed lounge, 1986

As I mention before, "Lockheed Lounge" is Marc Newson's representative work in his early stage, basically this work is also the main product to push him to international stage because "Lockheed Lounge" includes Newson's specific curve design and combines with futurism and shiny metal. All of these make Lockheed lounge is a very modern product at that time, but even now, it is still a very fashion product as it has been manufactured from 1990 till now. This product also makes him gain a great opportunity to Tokyo, Japan and work in IDEE which is a great company of design in Japan. Marc Newson stays four years in Japan; he gets a lot of great resources from IDEE, and he still keeps making new products with his own specific curve design during that time, therefore, he makes more fantastic works such as "Wood Chair", "Embryo Chair", "Felt Chair", and "Orgone". These products are not only presents on many formal exhibitions but also influence to global culture when it is manufactured by Cappellini. Marc Newson has very good luck since most of his design can be manufactured; therefore, he has more than 200 well-known works till now, and it is also the reason why he is much known than others. His first own studio was established in Paris in 1991, and then he established his own brand "Ikepod" with Oliver Ike in 1994, and most of the products of "Ikepod" is every kind of watches.

Material: Nickel-Plated steel mesh

Size: W.93.5*D. 83*H. 73 cm

Shiro Kuramata, How High the Moon, 1986

Shiro Kuramata uses abstractionism and minimalism into Bauhaus; and combine them to eastern culture to produce surreal works as I says before, but his designs also reflects the confidence and creativity of postwar Japan. He likes to use strange materials to construct his works such as transparent plastic, glass, nickel-plated steel and polyacrylates; "How high the moon" is a typical works which is made by nickel-plated steel. His designing style is "simplest", "most modern" and "most transparent"; therefore, most of his designs are like this style. However, his works always make people can feel the existing of pressure, time and invisible gravity even he uses a lot of light materials but the color, structure and appearance of his works give people totally opposite feeling.


Most of Marc Newson's works belong to futurism. Futurism is an artistic theory which has raised from 20th century in Italy, however, it also influences to other countries, especially Russia. It advocates to use strong lines, figures and opposite colors to present the modern life. They also emphasize the time and add it into their work to express four-dimensional space. Marc Newson is affected by this theory, so his work also includes all the elements I have mentioned for the futurism.

Most of Shiro Kuramata's works belong to modernism, but his modernism is not only the modernism but also including Bauhaus, abstractionism and minimalism. Modernism which has raised around 1914 is based on experimental exploration, science, advocated atheism and rational logic; the Darwin's evolution, Newton's mechanic and Freud's study of self-modernism are the most important base of modernism. Shiro Kuramata is influenced by modernism as we can see from most of his works are much near to reality, however, since he is also affected by abstractionism and minimalism, the appearance of his works are near modern life but the materials which he always uses are not common.


"Lockheed lounge" belongs to armchair, but its appearance is totally different to normal armchair because it is only supported by three legs, two stands on the two corners of same side and another one exists at the middle of another side. The shape which is long and plump makes it really looks like an expanding tongue with burnishing metal color. As the streamline and shining silver appearance makes it very stylish.

"How high the moon" also belongs to armchair, but its appearance that is big different to "Lockheed lounge" is much similar to the traditional sofa's appearance. The whole chair is constructed by a common industrial material, nickel-plated steel mesh which is a kind of transparent material. But it does not have any strut in the inner structure, and only backrest and armrest shows some curve shape or other places are cubic shape; this chair stands on four small cylinders.

Materials and manufacture:

"Lockheed lounge" is made by aluminum and fiberglass. It is used a lot of aluminum for its cover which is just like Marc Newson's style; and the burnishing metal color is soldered by huge number of pieces of aluminum boards together. And the inner structure is made by fiberglass; the feature of fiberglass make this armchair has enough strength to support its shape and people's weight. The reasons why Marc Newson choose aluminum and fiberglass are these two materials light but strong and these fit his style.

"How high the moon" is constructed by nickel-plated steel mesh, basically the whole work is all made by this. The structure is soldered by a lot of networks and Shiro Kuramata uses it to outline the hollow design. The reasons why Shiro Kuramata chooses nickel-plated steel mesh to be the only material for this works are it has strong elasticity to support people's weight, it has light sliver white color to let people easier to associate moon, and this material can fit to Shiro Kuramata's design ideology "World of the dream".


"Lockheed lounge" is an armchair, so the basic function of a chair no doubt is to sit and lie on it. However, the shape and structure will let people to worry about the safety of this chair, but do not worry because Marc Newson is a professional designer, this chair is hundred percent safe. According to the price is not low and specific appearance, so the people who buy it may just leave it as an adornment in their house; all the consumers may be artist or rich people.

"How high the moon" looks like a traditional sofa but made by different material, however, it is still a chair so no doubt it can sit and lie people on it. As it is constructed by nickel-plated steel mesh which has strong elasticity, so even it has been sat long time, the shape will still keep the same; it will not have the problem of deformation. The price is not cheap but it is much functional and acceptable by normal people, so everyone could be the consumer of this product, however, it also can be just a adornment if people like.

Relation to society:


Marc Newson's work "Lockheed Lounge" and Shiro Kuramata's work "How High the Moon" are almost made in the same time 1986, but they are totally different works, no matter the appearance, color, or materials even the concept of the designer's are also different. I think their nationalities and culture are the main reason since they have grown up in extremely different backgrounds. Marc Newson is futurism so he utilizes a lot of strong materials and exceptional appearance to present his work, but Shiro Kuramata is modernism of Bauhaus which mix with abstractionism and minimalism so his work is much near to reality but he likes to use a lot of transparent materials to make his works as invisible as possible; that is his special feature. However, their works have different trends, Marc Newson's works trend to appearance, so it is much likely a artwork, but Shiro Kuramata's works trend to function, so it can be normal furniture.