Archive for the ‘jonathan ives’ Category

Ives of March


Great article in Ten4 magazine from Channel 4’s 4Talent about Brit product designer Jonathan Ives of Apple fame. Written by Nick Carson from 4Talent West Midlands based at Maverick TV and designed by Jonny Costello of Fluid Design in Brum (you need to see the hard copy mag for Jonny’s response to a ‘challenging’ design task). As I write this on my britewhite new iMac (just across the room from my old Bondi iMac) I send out vibes of love&thanks to Jonathan and put him up there in my Hall of Design Fame with Richard Seymour & Dick Powell, Eric Gill and Abram Games.


“The design we practice isn’t about self expression. I don’t want to see a designer wagging his tail in my face. I want to see a problem solved, and in a way that acknowledges its context,” states the man behind some of the most understated yet revered designs of the last decade – from iMac to iPod to iPhone, his mass-market consumer products are as sculptural as they are purposeful.

Gentle curves and translucent fruity shades may have made his name, but it’s the technical minutiae that really animate Jonathan Ive. Hours of sweat and head-scratching are channeled into the finest of functional details – innovations that could set the tail of the most reserved designer flapping furiously. But instead they’re carefully smoothed over in soothing white for that cool and effortless je ne sais quoi.

Reaching for one of any number of examples at his fingertips, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Industrial Design turns to the latest iMac. “The stand is a simple piece of aluminium which has been stamped and then rolled,” he begins, allowing himself a chuckle that – refreshingly – his British pronunciation of ‘aluminum’ isn’t met by raised eyebrows. “One of the problems we encountered was that you could adjust it, but the screen would wobble slightly. It was really frustrating.”

“We architected an entire system to try and iron this wobble out.” Ive’s notoriously self-effacing nature allows a flicker of pride to shine through. “We developed a horseshoe foot that went below the stand. In between that and the stand was a cunning material designed to absorb the energy of the wobble.”

“We try to solve very complicated problems without letting people know how complicated the problem was,” he shrugs. “That’s the appropriate thing.” And this deep-rooted – and very British – notion of what is right and proper carries through into his resolute refusal to bask in individual glory. Rather like that horseshoe foot, he sees himself as one of many essential components meshed together beneath a polished and professional exterior.”

Bask in the rest here

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