If you’ve ever walked into a flagship Apple Store unconvinced of the magic of Cupertino’s products, a wondrous curvy, glass staircase might have softened your psyche.
Apple’s retail outlets are almost as well known for award-winning architecture and eye-catching staircases as for the MacBooks, iPads and iPhones on sale. But Apple Stores aren’t the only places to make vertical trips seem like a magical journey.
Designer, artist and feminist Molly McLeod has an iPhone problem. It’s one we probably all share: We spend too much time staring at it. Imagine how much worse it’s going to get when we replace our neurotic iPhone obsession with an Apple Watch.
McLeod created four delightfully playful designs that we could use to remind us (with a healthy dose of irony) to stop staring at our tiny screens for a moment.
“I find myself habitually looking at my phone when I’m commuting or idly waiting for something,” she writes on her website, “so I thought I would make my phone give me this gentle reminder. There are always other interesting things to look at if you look up!”
No Apple fan is oblivious to the huge amount of science, technique, expertise and care that Apple puts into every product. Apple doesn’t design its products the way it does because it has to, but because it is compelled on a profoundly spiritual level to do so.
For the Apple Watch, Apple has taken that care to the next level. And if you want to see just how much artistry, skill, craft and passion has gone into creating the latest revolutionary Apple product, there’s no better way to spend the weekend than reading about the behind-the-scenes manufacturing process of the Apple Watch.
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):
The address book is outdated.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.”