FRONT / TRIBUTE
In Memoriam: Marcus Fairs As the founder of Dezeen and ICON, Marcus Fairs leaves behind a rich legacy. A leading light in the design and architecture industry, the following pages are dedicated to his vast contribution to the design world
Words by Bethan Ryder
RIGHT Cover of ICON, November, 2004
OPPOSITE PAGE Marcus Fairs launched ICON in 2003
THE SUDDEN NEWS of Marcus Fairs’ passing prompted what felt like an unrivalled flood of emotion and love in the design community worldwide. No wonder – I struggle to think of anyone more responsible for creating that global design community than Marcus, with much behind-the-scenes support from his wife Rupinder Bhogal. Dezeen – as lore would have it, started by an enthusiast journalist in a spare bedroom in Stoke Newington in 2006 – has proved to be the multiple award-winning (Marcus loved awards) platform where the design world congregates to showcase, discuss and debate and will do so for years to come.
I didn’t know Marcus in those early days. We were more recent design event buddies and worked together on the Dezeen Brexit manifesto, but I doubt he changed much over the years. Like the best designers, he never lost his childlike curiosity about the world. He had an unquenchable thirst for life in all its confounding, complex glory. It was infectious, he was the party. His urge to bond with people was forensic and passionate, whether his hairdresser or a big name designer, as guests at his 50th birthday party attested. A mischievous gossip, deeply competitive, he was single minded in pursuit of a story, often