September 20, 2006

clarity = beauty

BusinssWeek has a good piece on Apple VP for Industrial Design Jonathan Ive...

....Ive had his own ideas from the start. Born in a middle-class London neighborhood, he was consumed with the mystery of how things are made by his early teens. Upon enrolling in the design program at Newcastle Polytechnic in 1985, his talent and drive quickly became obvious. During an internship with design consultancy Roberts Weaver Group, he created a pen that had a ball and clip mechanism on top, for no purpose other than to give the owner something to fiddle with. "It immediately became the owner's prize possession, something you always wanted to play with," recalls Grinyer, a Roberts Weaver staffer at the time. "We began to call it 'having Jony-ness,' an extra something that would tap into the product's underlying emotion."

By the time he graduated, Ive was already something of a legend in British design circles. Grinyer visited him once in his flat in the very tough Gateshead section of Newcastle and was shocked to find it filled to the rafters with hundreds of foam models of Ive's final project, a microphone and hearing aid combo that teachers could use to communicate better with kids with hearing problems (not surprisingly, in white plastic). "I'd never seen anything like it: The sheer focus to get it perfect," recalls Grinyer....

One rarely hears about Ive, and I'd guess that's just how he wants it. He's a real artist, and it's not about him-- the work is its own reward.

Posted by John Weidner at September 20, 2006 7:42 AM
Weblog by John Weidner