Guardian (UK) Profile Apple’s Jonathan Ive

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Yesterday we reported that Jonathan Ive had been named Designer of the Year by the UKis Design Museum. Relating to that development, and the £25,000 prize that went with it, The Guardian, a prominent UK newspaper, has published a story about him that is part news article, part profile, and part interview. Mr. Ive is Appleis vice president of industrial design, and heads the design team that came up with the iMac (G3 and G4), the Cube, the PowerBook, and other Mac designs. From the article:

Iveis passion for the role, and importance, of design, quickly becomes clear. "Sometimes design can be seen as an adjunct; that it is essentially a superficial veneer that can be applied afterwards, when very often the most important product decisions have actually already been made."

He is dismissive of the design efforts of the computing industry, and of the consumer electronics industry into which Apple is moving with products like its iPod digital music player.

"If you think about the consumer electronics industry, thatis as creatively bankrupt as the computer industry. Itis funny ... I never quite understand why the consumer electronics industry is seen as more sophisticated than the computer industry, because I think theyire really as bad as each other."

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But these problems have barely managed to leave a dent in Iveis reputation. Style watchers say that he has completely transformed the lot of the computer. "He made computers sexy, didnit he?" says Jeremy Langmead, editor of style magazine Wallpaper*. He points to the number of advertisements and fashion shoots since 1998 which feature - somewhere - an iMac, and adds: "I think the biggest influence he had was to, early on, point out how it was possible to combine form and function in such a heavenly mix. These are things that are incredibly easy to use, but also look incredibly beautiful."

There is a lot more information about Jonathan Ive, Apple, the industry, and other related issues in the full article at the Guardian, and we recommend it as a very good read.

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