What would a Jony Ive spacesuit look like? Photo: Sotheby’s
When you’ve designed some of the most successful consumer electronics in modern history, where else can you look but up?
One of the many interesting tidbits in The New Yorker’s 17,000-word profile of Jony Ive surrounds his fascination with the Apollo space program and, yes, designing spacesuits. It doesn’t sound like the spacesuit itself was what inspired Apple’s top designer as much as the process that went into it.
Ive mentions he’s been watching the old Discovery channel series Moon Machine about the challenges facing the Apollo program. NASA designers had no idea what goals they even needed to meet for the suit, but built up to the final design with invention after invention until they got it right.
An anecdote from The New Yorker’s time in Ive’s hallowed design studio (emphasis added):
There’s got to be a better way. Photo: Frank Costa
The address book is outdated. On the iPhone, while most of my contacts reside in the Contacts app, I rarely go in there. Instead, I connect with people on Facebook, via SnapChat, WhatsApp and more.
Product designer Frank Costa feels the same way, but he went one step further than simply banishing the Contacts app to an unused folder on his Home screen and designed this address book replacement concept, something he calls an Invisible Address Book.
While having a list of phone numbers might be silly, he says, there is benefit to having information about the people we contact frequently in one place.
“Therefore, as a design exercise,” writes Costa on Medium, “I elaborated on a couple of ideas to turn that seemingly static list of people into a slightly more ambitious project.”
No chairs exist in the office of the future, as re-imagined by artist Barbara Visser and architects Erik and Ronald Rietveld. Photo: Jan Kempenaers
The research reads like a Surgeon General’s warning: Prolonged periods of sitting can lead to obesity, heart disease, blood clots and spinal compression, according to the latest medical studies.
To combat this modern office horror, an artist and an architecture firm from the Netherlands have re-imagined the office with all the chairs pulled out from under us. The exhibit, called The End of Sitting, is a geometric landscape of surfaces of varying heights on which to lean.
“The chair and desk are no longer unquestionable starting points,” Erik and Ronald Rietveld, partners at Dutch firm Rietveld Architecture-Art-Affordances, told Cult of Mac. “In our society, almost the entirety of our surroundings have been for sitting while evidence from medical research suggests that too much sitting has adverse health effects.”
The world’s most famous designer, Jony Ive. Photo: Apple
Jony Ive made a rare public appearance at the Design Museum in London yesterday, where he discussed a range of topics with museum director Deyan Sudjic. Everything from the future of design, to Jony’s work at Apple popped up in the conversation, but the most intriguing parts where the insights into Jony’s design process.
Sir Jonathan told hopeful designers that great design requires you to reject reason and comes with an enormous amount of failure, but he also shared some insights on how he’s become so successful as Apple’s Senior VP of Design.
Here are 12 secrets for designers Jony spilled last night:
Taking the Oru Kayak for a ride. Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac
I consider myself to be “the adventurous type” but I’ve never once kayaked, thanks to two big hurdles: I live in the desert, and I drive a tiny Fiat that barely fits four grown humans in its cramped interior.
Water activities in these parts of Arizona require a gas-guzzling truck and a garage big enough to store your boats, putting kayaking out of reach for most urban dwellers. Oru Kayak destroys both those necessities with a foldable boat that’s strong enough to take on a lake or river, while also compacting into a box small enough to fit in your closet.
Before the Oru Kayak glided into my life, my go-to outdoor activity was hiking. Point me to a waterfall 15 miles away in the desert and even if that AZ ‘dry heat’ was boiling the tar on the highway, I was totally there. Now that there’s a boat that fits in my car, everything’s changed.
While some may see Xiaomi, Samsung, and other players in the smartphone race as iPhone copycats, Jony Ive sees it as downright “theft.” That was the clear takeaway from Ive’s interview at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit today.
Apple’s new design guru Marc Newson has barely been at Apple for nearly a month now, but that’s not going to stop him from also working on his own designs – like a fabulous new way to pour yourself a draft beer at home.
Marc unveiled his revolutionary new beer machine today in partnership with Heineken, but in an interview with Deezer, the famed designer also talked publicly for the first time about his new role at Apple, stating the position will only be part-time and he’ll still be based out of the U.K.
What Marc’s actually doing at Apple though is still a mystery. Apple’s PR handler wouldn’t let him comment on whether he had a hand in the Apple Watch’s design, and speculation on what he’s working on with Jony was quickly shot down. Whatever Apple does throw at him though, Marc said he can handle it, because “there isn’t really a big difference between designing a watch or a car or even a machine that pours beer.”
Perhaps the most surprising thing about Apple’s reveal on Tuesday of their first smartwatch was that it was square.
Many of us were expecting something that was at least curved, if not round: a more traditional watch form factor that represented an evolutionary step away from the square displays Apple has embraced since the original Apple I.
Of course, as we all know, the Apple Watch is boxy, at least for now. But as these renders show, the Apple Watch design and UI would work just as well, if not more so, in a round casing, with a round display.