Apple Gets Institutionalized

Apple Gets Institutionalized

A famous Apple campaign goes: “Here’s to the crazy ones.” Of course the crazy ones usually get institutionalized. And that’s exactly what has happened to Apple. It seems that in recent weeks, Apple has been or announced plans to be, institutionalized.

Apple, which represents the newest of the new, both aesthetically and technologically, is embracing the old. Here’s what I’m talking about.

The Royal Treatment

Queen Elizabeth II appointed Apple’s senior vice president of industrial design and Steve Job’s “spiritual partner” as a Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

Yeah, Sir Jony was knighted. Again.

The queen will officially confer the honor with a tap of the sword, which Ive will consider garish, needlessly decorated and far too large.

Apple’s association with the institution of the British Monarchy started when Ive was conferred the lesser title of a Commander of the British Empire in 2005, and when US President Barack Obama gave the queen an iPod in April of 2009. Or maybe it’s when she bought her own in 2005.

Either way, Apple is thoroughly associated now with the institution of the British Monarchy.

Grand Central Apple Store

It’s not just that institutions want to institutionalize Apple. Apple wants to institutionalize itself.

Apple opened this month the world’s largest Apple Store inside the world’s largest train station in America’s largest city. The Grand Central Terminal is a New York institution, built between 1903 and 1913. As a New York institution, it’s up there with the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building.

Unlike many of the stores inside the terminal building, the Apple Store stands as an homage to the architecture and history of the building. Paul Gunther, President of the Institute of Classical Architecture, wrote that “The new Apple store is cultural memory writ large, resulting in a renewal of artistic appreciation for a place at risk of being taken for granted.”

But Apple’s presence isn’t just about honoring the terminal, but improving and maintaining it. Apple will spend $2.5 million in permanent improvements to the terminal.

The Grand Central Terminal Apple store clearly isn’t just about foot traffic. Apple wants to be associated with, and contribute to the preservation of, cultural institutions.

Apple has a lot of Apple Stores — some 360 at last count. But recently, the company has been working hard and paying through the nose to build Apple Stores inside cultural institutions around the world.

More Grand and Central Stores Coming This Year

According to reports, Apple is planning to open Apple Stores in more famous, historic buildings.

Apple plans to build a big store in a building right in the center of Madrid, Spain, that was built in 1860 but that closed five years ago. The building used to be the famous Hotel Paris and was originally the “Fonde de Paris.” Like Grand Central Terminal, the Hotel Paris building has amazing interior decorations. Famous artists and writers like Manet and Dario once lived in the hotel.

A ginormous electric sign erected in 1946 advertising Tio Pepe sherry is a major Madrid tourist attraction. Although the sign has been removed for construction, it will be returned to its former glory in time for the opening of the Apple Store this year.

In Germany, Apple intends to install a store in a theater built in 1913 in the Kurfürstendamm shopping section of Berlin, according to rumors. The building, which somehow survived the heavy bombing of Berlin in World War II, will be completely renovated by Apple.

Stanford Archives

We also learned this week that Apple has long been institutionalized in a secret archive at Stanford University, the school where Steve Jobs’ son, Reed Jobs, currently attends.

The university has reportedly been curating a “storehouse of materials Apple had been collecting for a company museum” but that were donated by Apple to Stanford in the late 1990s.

This “storehouse” is the world’s largest collection of Apple historical materials. It filled two moving vans, and now takes up more than 600 feet of shelf space at a climate-controlled storage facility that exists in an undisclosed location in Silicon Valley.

According to an Associated Press report this week, “The collection includes early photos of young Jobs and Wozniak, blueprints for the first Apple computer, user manuals, magazine ads, TV commercials, company t-shirts and drafts of Jobs’ speeches.”

The most interesting fact about this historical collection, besides its size and that it came directly from Apple, is its closed, secret nature. All these artifacts are off-limits, and few even know what’s in there.

So remember December, 2011. That’s the month when Apple got institutionalized.

  • cassandralite

    Judging by this post, Mike Elgan needs to be institutionalized immediately.

  • Figurative

    Who is Steve Job?

  • Bob Forsberg

    ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzz…….

  • CGJack

    Can we use a different picture please? And it’s ‘The Queen’ not ‘The queen’.

    Congratulations to Sir Jony.

  • N_e_m_o

    Love it ! Please… institutionalised in a strait jacket. 

    Once again COM proves they are desperate for link views – sensational title, Zzzzzzz content.

  • David Clark

    What’d ya do, Mike? Look up the definition of ‘institutionalization’, and run with every single one in the book and apply it to Apple? 

  • TylerHoj

    I bet Apple is going to want their memorabilia back when the mother ship lands. Something tells me there might be enough room in there for a museum. People are going to want to travel to the new Apple campus to see the incredible architecture, perhaps they’ll be able to parooze a museum while they’re at it? Lets hope so anyway. 

  • Robert Santellan

    How is the Apple Stanford Archive news? Steve Jobs mentioned this back at D5… http://bit.ly/aEzOBU

  • cassandralite

    Parooze.  Is that what leaks out of a par?

  • Marco Torre

    Didn’t we fight a war a couple of hundred years ago to free ourselves from the monarch?  I fail to understand the obsession with everything royal.

  • Len Williams

    A great example of phonetic spelling. “Parooze” ranks right up there with “enuff” and “throo”. I shudder to think of what English will become in another hundred years.

  • recyclops117

    Trolololo

  • ddevito

    What’s the matter? iPhone didn’t autocorrect him?

  • Wayne Harrel

    The Queen looks like a corpse.

  • Jason Bartlett

    Ive is British, duh. 

  • russhughes

    What a thoroughly pointless article – ANOTHER slow day in the COM office. Don’t get me started on the sentence construction and the grammar.

  • GeekJenJen

    Speak for yourself. And who is we? The whole world? Or just your american great-grandparents? You did NOTHING. 

    I am british and I say : god save the Queen. 

  • Lascan Ciprian

    My friend was working on apple and he changed his profession and life build career because he discovered the best method to get a ipod for free. Each problem which I have with ipod it’s finished for me because my friend Tony helps me.
    After he told me the best method to get a free ipod touch, it always helps me with all sorts of questions I have. This is his job and I appreciate very much his website free-us-ipod.com .
    I hope that he will help you with your all questions. It is an amazing man. All my family got free ipod touch . It’s a user proof category there if you don`t believe me. This man is my idol

  • Lascan Ciprian

    My friend was working on apple and he changed his profession and life build career because he discovered the best method to get a ipod for free. Each problem which I have with ipod it’s finished for me because my friend Tony helps me.
    After he told me the best method to get a free ipod touch, it always helps me with all sorts of questions I have. This is his job and I appreciate very much his website free-us-ipod.com .
    I hope that he will help you with your all questions. It is an amazing man. All my family got free ipod touch . It’s a user proof category there if you don`t believe me. This man is my idol

  • Lascan Ciprian

    My friend was working on apple and he changed his profession and life build career because he discovered the best method to get a ipod for free. Each problem which I have with ipod it’s finished for me because my friend Tony helps me.
    After he told me the best method to get a free ipod touch, it always helps me with all sorts of questions I have. This is his job and I appreciate very much his website free-us-ipod.com .
    I hope that he will help you with your all questions. It is an amazing man. All my family got free ipod touch . It’s a user proof category there if you don`t believe me. This man is my idol

  • Cold_dead_fingers

    Think logically.

    We (the whole world): did the entire world rid themselves of British rule? No. Okay, logically, he wasn’t talking about the entire world.

    We (Americans): did Americans rid themselves of British rule? Yes. Granted plenty other countries overthrew British control, but given that a universal goal in a comment is to remain relevant in some way, it’s safe to say he was speaking on behalf of Americans, seeing as Apple is an American company.

    To add, you don’t even know if her/his great grandparents did anything. To be an American means to be born in America. Her/his great grandparents, grandparents, parents could be immigrants. That would not make them Americans.

  • Cold_dead_fingers

    Or he’s using Windows, perhaps Android with horrible autocorrect.

  • TylerHoj

    With your frame of mind, I shudder to think how much of an asshole everyone will be in this so called future.

  • Mari-Xouana H Flou

    God save the Queen
    Her fascist regime,
    They made you a moron
    A potential H-bomb.

    God save the Queen
    She ain’t no human being.
    There is no future
    In England’s dreaming

    Don’t be told what you want
    Don’t be told what you need.
    There’s no future
    There’s no future
    There’s no future for you

    God save the Queen
    We mean it man
    We love our queen
    God saves

    God save the Queen
    Cause tourists are money
    And our figurehead
    Is not what she seems 

                                                                            
                                                                                        Sincerely,
                                                                                        The Sex Pistols.

About the author

Mike ElganMike Elgan writes about technology and culture for a wide variety of publications. Follow Mike on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

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