Jony Ive on Design Philosophy and Apple’s Future

by Istvan Fekete on March 17, 2014

Apple’s Senior Vice President of Design, Jonathan Ive, sat down with John Arlidge of the Sunday Times to discuss multiple topics, including his design philosophy, collaboration, his relationship with Steve Jobs, and the future of Apple, alongside thoughts on the highly anticipated new product categories.

Ive works with an international team of 15 people from the US, New Zealand, Japan, Australia, and Great Britain. Speaking about design, his approach is to imagine what that specific product should be, and what it should do.

The creative part of the vision is strongly connected to his office, which consists of computer-controlled cutting machines and a large wooden bench.

Ive also took the time to share his approach on designing the perfect product shape: [Ive] spent “months and months and months” working out the exact shape of the stand of the desktop iMac computer because “it’s very hard to design something that you almost do not see because it just seems so obvious, natural, and inevitable.” When he has finished a product, even one as fresh and iconic as the white headphones that came with the first iPod, he is haunted by the idea: could I have done it better? “It’s an affliction designers are cursed with,” Ive frowns.

When asked about his relationship and collaboration with Steve Jobs, he was eager to speak up against all the negative comments about the former Apple co-founder’s management style, emphasizing Jobs’ unique characteristics, such as his cleverness, and his bold and magnificent ideas:

“So much has been written about Steve, and I don’t recognize my friend in much of it. Yes, he had a surgically precise opinion. Yes, it could sting. Yes, he constantly questioned. ‘Is this good enough? Is this right?’ But he was so clever. His ideas were bold and magnificent. They could suck the air from the room. And when the ideas didn’t come, he decided to believe we would eventually make something great. And oh, the joy of getting there!”

Rumours about the highly anticipated iWatch have gained traction lately, and Ive isn’t the person to deny them: he is obviously aware of the rumours, but just like other Apple executives, he can’t speak about the subject.

When asked about whether he would quit if Apple stopped innovating, he firmly answered affirmatively, but quickly added that this won’t happen, because the company is at the beginning of a remarkable time, and developing remarkable products.

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Written by: Istvan Fekete. Follow by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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