‘Embryo’ chair by Marc Newson

Made by De De Ce in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1988.

Marc Newson is Australia’s most successful contemporary designer. Since graduating from Sydney College of the Arts in 1984 he has worked in Japan, Italy, France and Britain. He has designed furniture, lighting, interiors, watches, homewares, a bike, a concept car and a jet. He appears regularly in international design journals and his work is represented in collections thoughout the world.

The Powerhouse Museum has supported Newson since early in his career, acquiring one of his first chairs, t...


Object No.


Physical Description

Easy chair constructed of neoprene and polyurethane on a steel frame. The chair is shaped in a fluid biomorphic form with the back and seat forming one amoeba shaped piece. The back and seat are made of polyurethane foam covered in fluorescent pink sponge neoprene, zippered down the back and supported on three legs of lacquered tube steel. The front legs are right angled into the body of the seat through a hollow tube strengthened by outer aluminium flanges.



810 mm



The Embryo chair was designed by Marc Newson in Sydney, Australia, in 1988. This chair was commissioned by the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (Powerhouse Museum) in 1988 and sponsored by Sedia Australia. It was made by DeDeCe in Sydney, Australia, in 1988

Marc Newson was only twenty five when he designed the Embryo chair for the Powerhouse Exhibition 'Take a Seat'. His work had already been exhibited in Australia, Europe and Japan and a number of his designs were in commercial production both locally and aboard.

The distinctive design of the Embryo chair demonstrates the imaginative flair which generated Newson's precocious success. The body of the chair, made in polyurethane foam, is formed in one piece, the back tapering to a waist before widening out into the seat. In this example the swelling contours are contained within a skin of bright pink neoprene (other colours were also produced) and supported on three black tubular steel legs in an insect like stance. While the biometric form and luminescent colour may recall images from comic book science fiction, the elegant proportions and refinement of detail demonstrate a sophisticated aesthetic.

Judith O'Callaghan, 1991


De De Ce 1988



The chair was displayed at the Powerhouse Museum in the 'Take a seat' exhibition in 1988 and the 'Marc Newson - design works' exhibition in 2001.


Credit Line

Gift of Sedia Australia, 1988

Acquisition Date

30 August, 1988

Cite this Object


'Embryo' chair by Marc Newson 2017, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 24 January 2018, <https://ma.as/86626>


{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/86626 |title='Embryo' chair by Marc Newson |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=24 January 2018 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

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