In Court: Maniacal Apple Designers Around The Kitchen Table

In Court: Maniacal Apple Designers Around The Kitchen Table

In the first day of actual testimony today, US District Court got to hear from the first expert witness, Christopher Stringer, a long-time Apple designer who worked on the original iPhone designs. His testimony described Apple’s design team as a group of 16 “maniacal individuals” who spent a lot of their time around a kitchen table, brainstorming new products.

Stringer wore an off-white suite and narrow black tie to testify, an outfit to complement his long hair and salt-and-pepper beard. He told the jury, “Our role is to imagine products that don’t exist and guide them to life.”

The process they use is unique, and includes a kitchen table.

In his testimony, Stringer said that the main group of 15 or 16 designers, led by Jony Ive, meet weekly around the kitchen table, where they are most comfortable. This crack design team works in a huge open-area studio on the Apple campus in Cupertino, blaring music through a massive sound system. Access to this area is strictly controlled, limited to a very small select group.

Stringer, who himself has hundreds of design patents in his name, pointed out that the team has worked together for close to 20 years. “We have been together for an awfully long time,” he said. “We are a pretty maniacal group of people. We obsess over details.” He reiterated a common theme at Apple, one of developing many prototypes at once, never following a linear development path, always willing to scrap a whole concept for something better.

“We are always doubting,” he said. “We are always questioning.”

  • Source Reuters
  • Image Reuters/Vicki Behringer
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  • dcj001

    “Stringer wore an off-white suite ”

    “suite” is pronounced like the word “sweet.”

    You might want to remove the “e” at the end of the word, Rob.

  • Rob LeFebvre

    “Stringer wore an off-white suite ”

    “suite” is pronounced like the word “sweet.”

    You might want to remove the “e” at the end of the word, Rob.

    Thanks for catching the typo! Any comment on the content of the post?

  • Soundcloud Forwardslash GenthenaZero

    John Ive! Most important man at Apple now that Steve Jobs has departed imo. Not to keen on the new CEO but we’ll see. Interesting that they work in an open air space though. I’m sure Microsoft and so on have more than enough money to get satellite surveillance on them, why aren’t they bothered?

    I’m slightly confused anyway… what’s this lawsuit about? It’s not still Samsung is it? I understand that that isn’t the point of the body of text but I didn’t even realise that this was about hardware until Ive’s name was mentioned lol.

  • henrymaxm

    I like that “We are always doubting, We are always questioning.”

  • ElVox

    John Ive! Most important man at Apple now that Steve Jobs has departed imo. Not to keen on the new CEO but we’ll see. Interesting that they work in an open air space though. I’m sure Microsoft and so on have more than enough money to get satellite surveillance on them, why aren’t they bothered?

    I’m slightly confused anyway… what’s this lawsuit about? It’s not still Samsung is it? I understand that that isn’t the point of the body of text but I didn’t even realise that this was about hardware until Ive’s name was mentioned lol.

    I think the “open air” description is about the inside of the building, not about it having no roof…it’s a space without cubicles nor offices, just an open layout.

    As for the lawsuit…yes, it’s still Samsung, yes it’s still about HW look&feel…and Samsung is looking for new and interesting ways of making a judge so angry at you that they throw you out on your ass.

About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Culture Editor. He has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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