For better and worse, everything that happens at Apple really just comes down to Steve Jobs. That’s an absurd notion, of course, but that’s the public perception and a perspective that likely won’t be changed by facts.
Nevertheless, years before Jobs came back to Apple, there was another person at work within the company who was just as eager to take the company back to its purist, some might say arrogant, vision.
Financial Post reports that one of the first things Steve Jobs did when he came to Apple in 1997 was start looking for a design guru to help him take the company back to its roots. However, he soon came to realize the genius he needed was already the company’s head of design and had been with the company since 1992.
“In industrial design, Apple is used as a case study to the extent that it’s become something of a clichÃ© to use them, or to use Jonathan Ive,” said Jules Goss, chairman of the industrial design department at the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto. “But at the same time, that’s still an incredibly robust case study about the value of excellent form and interaction design combined with a very appropriately designed set of capabilities.”
A transformational moment
Ive’s own love affair with Apple products began in 1985 while at university and his experience with the then still new Macintosh transformed him in ways we’re still feeling today.
“I remember being astounded at just how much better it was than anything else I had tried to use,” Mr. Ive said in a 2007 interview with the British Council’s Design Museum. “I had a sense of connection via the object with the designers [...] The more I learned about this cheeky almost rebellious company, the more it appealed to me, as it unapologetically pointed to an alternative in a complacent and creatively bankrupt industry.”
And, Ive’s latest inspired design “” it’s oddly disarming and immediately familiar, though utterly revolutionary (a recurring theme of his work) “” is already a smash hit. The iPad’s sold well over 1-million units and it hasn’t even gone on sale overseas yet, a state of affairs that will be remedied on Friday, May 28.
It’s amazing that Ive, and Jobs, have been able to keep turning out product after product that still have the ability to astound and inspire, just like the original Macintosh…
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