18 of the best designs of all time, as chosen by Jony Ive and Marc Newson

“Something unsurprising happens when you task two star designers to curate a catalog of their favorite objects: You end up with a collection of ridiculously well-designed products,” Liz Stinson reports for Wired.

“This is exactly what happened when Sotheby’s tapped Jony Ive and Marc Newson to pull together a list of goods to be auctioned off at the (RED) Auction, which is raising money for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria,” Stinson reports. “We’ve already told you about the gorgeous Leica rangefinder camera and the sleek aluminum desk that the all-star duo designed from the ground up, but there’s actually an entire catalog’s worth of amazing design products up for grabs on Nov. 23.”

Stinson reports, “Ive and Newson were essentially given free reign to choose more than 40 of their favorite designs throughout history. As Newson told us earlier, the resulting catalog is an eclectic collection of objects that shrugs off the personality-focused world of contemporary design… pieces like the 1990s-era cosmonaut suit that was worn into space (it’s expected to fetch between $50,000 and $75,000) and a U.S. Space Shuttle thermal window made from Corning glass and 7980 high-purity-fused silica, which is held aloft by an Ive and Newson-designed stand (this is going for $100,000 to $150,000). It’s objects like these, he says, that take an untold number of people working together to make an effective, brilliant design. Of course, there are still your requisite design big-wigs like a ruby-leathered Dieter Rams sofa ($20,000 to $30,000) and one of Tom Dixon’s Prototype Punch XL chandeliers (also going for $20,000 to $30,000). And if you have an extra $40,000 lying around, you can bid on a customized red Mac Pro.”

Product (RED) by Sir Jonathan Ive
Product (RED) by Sir Jonathan Ive

See all of the images in the full article here.

Related articles:
Jony Ive and Marc Newson create a sleek one-off aluminum desk – October 11, 2013
Jony Ive’s one-off Leica M camera revealed (with images) – October 8, 2013
Apple designer Sir Jonathan Ive to design one-of-a-kind single-edition Leica M camera for charity – September 18, 2012
Apple’s Jony Ive, designer Marc Newson, U2′s Bono team up to auction 18k rose gold EarPods for charity – September 9, 2013


  1. Nice! My favourite is the thermodynamic clock. The Airstream trailer might be fun on an Ashland excursion, and the Christian Louboutin boots make a forceful statement. You could only wear them once, though. I’ll stick with his kid leather pumps.

  2. “…pieces like the 1990s-era cosmonaut suit that was worn into space … and a U.S. Space Shuttle thermal window made from Corning glass and 7980 high-purity-fused silica…”

    But, but…
    Design is supposed to be about looks and fashion and marketing!

  3. I have a 1959 Lambretta motorscooter like the one in the picture only much more like a Hudson then a late model Cadillac way cooler design.
    I think they failed in that regard


  4. Some of you might have been expecting me to nitpick. Well, here i go:

    First, does “all time” include prehistory or the future? Presumably not, because these guys have little imagination look at what absurdly narrow timeframe these guys chose, and how most of these items are designer knockoffs of functional products. Come on, boxy luggage, aluminum tables, and cheesy bookstands intended to look like a lunar lander? Not impressed.

    Let’s just start off by saying there were a few decent picks, but rather strange examples to choose as the “best”. A Cinelli track bike or a Lambretta scooter could easily be replaced with superior motorized and non-motorized machines (at lower cost, mind you). I was shocked at how many items were unoriginal knockoffs — come on, overpriced hard luggage, functionally useless and uncomfortable stiletto boots, and antiquated overpriced electronics? None of these moved the bar nor inspired other designers to adopt the design language of these knockoff items. A Chuck Conner sneaker is more iconic and original than these useless red shoes.

    But as with any list, there are so many obvious ORIGINAL designs they missed, including but not limited to:

    – What about automobiles? How can one have such a list without the infamous Jaguar E-Type or any of the brilliant Auto Union Silver Arrows, or any of a hundred other amazing rolling sculptures we all take for granted?

    – What about the brilliantly simple Alessi Juicy, the most elegant kitchen gadget ever made?

    – What about other ubiquitous designer-driven items like eyeglasses (Ray Ban Aviators or Oakley M-Frames come immediately to mind)?

    – What about functional elements forged by pure engineering dedication to function and efficiency — a turbine blade or propeller from an airplane, the thin monocoque of a glider, an ultra-lightweight forged automobile racing wheel, or the brilliant handwork involved in making properly fitted leathergoods (not as boxes to stow your clothes, but with absolute perfect tailoring to fit your hands and feet with not only support but also incredible fit in all dynamic situations)?

    – What about architecture, from Eiffel’s masterpiece of a broadcast tower to the Roman aquaducts to the acoustically perfect opera halls of the world?

    – What about breathtakingly beautiful electronics like the original B&W Nautilus speaker? It puts any turntable or analog control panel to shame.

    – What about the natural beauty of Olmstead parks, countless English gardens, sculpted jardins laid out before amazing chateaux, the dainty geometric bonsai gardens of Japan, or the steep hillside terraced beauty of numerous Italian villas?

    – What about the entire industry of carpentry — do these guys not appreciate anything manufactured out of wood, the original composite material?

    – Lastly, how about something made of a modern material, which could include anything from a graphite tennis racket to an LED light bulb to the innovative plastic stuff that we all see everyday because it is so well designed?

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