The Planet Miller

[Image: The "Voronoi Shelf" and "Extruded Chair" by Marc Newsom; image by Lamay Photo, courtesy of Gagosian Gallery, NYC].

In a recent post on gravestmor we read about the furniture of Marc Newsom. Every table, chair, and bookshelf Newsom designs has been individually milled "from a single slab of marble from the same Carrara quarry" – so there are no hinges and no joinery.

[Image: A "lathed marble table" by Marc Newsom; image by Lamay Photo, courtesy of Gagosian Gallery, NYC].

"I think that if this proves anything," Marcus at gravestmor writes, "it is that it is clear now that it was a mistake to build the Beijing Olympic Stadium in steel" – after all, he says, "carving the whole thing out a single piece of marble would have, in hindsight, been the correct choice."

[Images: Two "extruded" tables by Marc Newsom; image by Lamay Photo, courtesy of Gagosian Gallery, NYC].

Alternatively, you could take several dozen CNC-milling machines – like the ones that Newsom used – and disappear into the Rocky Mountains. Alone.
Over the course of a decade, you mill every single peak in northwestern Colorado into an elaborate cobweb of arches and shelves, weird nets of rock that stand thousands of feet above the horizon. You mill gentle slides and curves, nesting one into the other across counties – huge, gyroscopic spans bending down through the mountain air. Then, a few miles away, you begin work on a new town that no one else knows about, complete with churches, homes, and a small planetarium, ground and polished straight from the exposed surface of the earth. On quiet nights, the wind hums across doorsills...
Everyday, fifty years from now, at sunset, in a village called Lumière, a new kind of cinema begins: huge, moving shadows creep across the landscape, dragging east against the falling of the sun. Golden light casts like a laser through complex shapes milled decades earlier.
People sit in lawn chairs, watching, stunned.

(Vaguely related: On the geotechnical invasion of paradise and Milled landscapes – though that second link is pretty old).

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember back when I was growing up in the '70s, every TV sitcom seemed to have a joke, almost weekly, about a married couple moving into their new house, and the wife would invariably be indecisive about where to put the furniture.

So here we are with coffee tables made of milled marble. "Honey, could you put it over there?" "Wasn't it *just* over there?" "Yes, but I think I like it better like it was before..."

Also, I'm filled with a compulsion to put my lips to the drilled holes in those tables and play them like a digeridoo.

January 25, 2007 12:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it would be great if this guy took one really huge piece of marble and carved an entire apartment out of it, complete with furniture, all connected and one piece: couch, TV stand, toilet, kitchen island, etc.

January 26, 2007 3:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who wonders what happened to all the removed material? Seems to me there is an incredible amount of ostentatious waste here.

January 26, 2007 5:03 AM  
Anonymous ed said...

Marc Newson (BTW, note spelling) in the past has stepped into the world of wristwatch design. His company, Ikepod, made some interesting watches in the late 90s, but went out of business for a while. Apparently the company has been restarted.

Here's the official site:

Here's a site with many of his designs:


January 26, 2007 8:08 AM  
Blogger Geoff Manaugh said...

I think he should mill Paris out of the buildings of London. Or mill Rome from the skyscrapers of New York.

January 26, 2007 5:39 PM  
Blogger Alexander Trevi said...

>> what happened to all the removed material?

They were futher milled into other furnitures, then their excess marble into tinier furniture, a chaise lounge perhaps, then into plates, then cups, then napkin rings.

Then some Chinese food is ordered.

January 26, 2007 5:58 PM  
Blogger Alexander Trevi said...

Also, when I read this at gravestmor, images of the proposed stadium in Chicago's bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics had just been released, and thought, why not a subterranean stadium milled beneath the Olmsted and Vaux park. Knotted tunnels as access ramps; carved-out miniature Notre-Dames as locker rooms and VIP lounges; more tunnels, leading you everywhere and nowhere. Post-Olympics, it simply becomes part of the city's multi-billion dollar Tunnel and Reservoir Plan.

But not before J.K Rowling and Tolkien's estate sue the organizing committee.

January 26, 2007 6:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

See, I am resisting the urge to comment on the viability of that fictional lawsuit.

January 26, 2007 7:26 PM  
Blogger Geoff Manaugh said...

Octo, can I sue you for resisting the urge to comment?

January 27, 2007 4:50 PM  
Anonymous marcus said...

It looks like they have already made a start.

January 28, 2007 2:03 AM  

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