How a California real estate developer helped create Apple as we know it

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A classic promotional shot emphasizes the stylish open-plan living found in an Eichler home. Photo: Eichler
A vintage promotional shot emphasizes the stylish open-plan living found in an Eichler home. Photo: Eichler

With an innovative architectural style that brought elegant living to the masses, real estate developer Joseph Eichler left an indelible mark on California in the 1960s.

His beautifully simple blueprints also had an undeniable impact on Apple’s co-founders — although Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs took very different lessons from his work. Remarkably, Eichler’s design philosophy continues to shape Apple’s products, inside and out, to this day.

“I was very lucky to grow up in an Eichler,” Wozniak told Cult of Mac, referring to his family’s four-bedroom home in Sunnyvale, California. “It greatly influenced my liking of simplicity and open style. I like it whenever I see those attributes in any architecture.”

Design guru Dieter Rams says Apple built his dream PC

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Legendary designer Dieter Rams. Photo:
Legendary designer Dieter Rams. Photo: Wikipedia

Braun’s lauded designer, Dieter Rams, has long been cited as an inspiration behind Apple’s classic design. Nearly everything Rams touched, from calculators tape recorders, radios, and even infrared emitters, have inspired Apple’s products, and according to Dieter himself, it’s a huge compliment.

In a recent interview with Fast Company, the prolific designer said if he had to do it all over again, he “would not want to be a designer.” However, if he were forced to take out his sketchpad and design a computer, it’d probably look just like Apple’s.