Ive to now lead product vision
Apple lost its technology visionary in Steve Jobs, who passed away on Wednesday, leaving head product designer Jonathan Ive with the responsibility to fill the creative gap.india Updated: Oct 07, 2011 01:53 IST
Apple lost its technology visionary in Steve Jobs, who passed away on Wednesday, leaving head product designer Jonathan Ive with the responsibility to fill the creative gap.
Ive, has been Jobs' foremost creative partner within Apple, according to Eric Chan, who runs Ecco Design, an industrial design firm. Ive oversaw the development that led to devices such as the iMac, iPod, iPhone and iPad, honing a close working relationship with Jobs after the late co-founder returned to Apple in 1997.
A design prodigy who won a British student award twice while attending Northumbria University in the 1980s, Ive said in a 2006 speech that his goal "is not self-expression. It's to make something that looks like it wasn't really designed at all, because it's inevitable."
That's been the case since his college days, according to Clive Grinyer, who went to school with him. Grinyer recalled visiting Ive's apartment, and being shocked to see hundreds of foam models of a single product. Each one was good enough to have been the final product, said Grinyer, who later formed a design firm with Ive called Tangerine.
After Jobs returned to the helm of Apple in 1997, he needed the yet-to-be-released iMac to be a hit. To make sure it stood out, Jobs approved Ive's plan to use a candy- colored translucent plastic enclosure, a major expense given the falling prices for computers at the time.
Ive and his team do their work in a lab deep within Apple's Infinite Loop campus, in a room locked off from all but the highest-ranking executives.
The British native is known to travel to Asia for weeks, studying intricacies of metal-bending equipment, according to former Apple designer Thomas Meyerhoffer. The result is that Apple's products have unique shapes, textures and thinness. The solid feel of products such as the iPhone is due in part to Ive's insistence on minuscule tolerances, the tiny gaps around each part and screw in a product.