Very few outsiders have been inside Apple’s Industrial Design Studio, the amazingly creative product lab behind the company’s blockbuster hardware.
That may change this weekend, when 60 Minutes broadcasts a tour of the design lab. Apple’s lead designer, Jony Ive, gave journalist Charlie Rose a peek at the facility earlier this year — and his report airs this Sunday.
But you can take a tour of Apple’s secret Industrial Design studio right now. A virtual one, anyway.
Ever wanted to take a tour of Apple’s secret Industrial Design studio in Cupertino? Now you can — a virtual one, anyway — just for writing a review of my new book about Jony Ive. It doesn’t even have to be a good review!
Located on the ground floor of Infinite Loop II behind frosted glass windows, the industrial design studio is where Ive and his team of design elves cook up Apple’s awesome products.
Few have been inside — even some of Apple’s own executives haven’t seen it. Rumor has it that the former head of iOS, Scott Forstall, wasn’t allowed inside, even when he was developing the iPhone’s operating system. Only one published photograph has ever been taken inside the studio. And no, Blue Peter and the Objectified documentary weren’t filmed there, contrary to popular opinion.
Now you can take a tour. I had a 3-D model of the studio created, based on detailed descriptions and diagrams by former designers who worked inside. I used it to create a video tour of the studio, showing the layout and explaining how everything works. I think the video turned out great, and here’s how you get a sneak peek.
If you want to get a feel for the book, check out this excerpt over at Medium, which is richly illustrated with sketches and photographs of some of the prototypes.
The Medium excerpt is how Leander wanted to originally write the book; illustrated with all the images leaked during the initial Samsung vs. Apple trial. We’ve seen the prototypes all over the web. What is missing, though, is the journalist’s most important tool: context. This treatment pairs the pictures with the details of Apple’s design process.
Hartmut Esslinger, Apple’s first celebrity designer, is coming to the Jony Ive book launch party on Thursday!
This is super exciting. Esslinger is giant of the design industry. He was hired by Steve Jobs in the mid-1980s to bring world-class design to Apple. Jobs wanted to make Apple “the Olivetti of Silicon Valley,” a world leader in design. He succeeded amazingly well. Esslinger was responsible for Snow White, a distinctive design language that dominated the entire computer industry for more than a decade, and other industries too.