Academic Journal Beaten Down In Pursuit of Apple Design Group

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Every few years, another writer who hasn’t followed Apple’s design heritage for very long decides to figure out where it comes from and why it’s been such a success. And every few readers, they end up talking with people extremely tangential to the process who haven’t been involved for at least 9 years. The latest is poor Daniel Turner, writing for the MIT Technology Review:

But the omerta that prevails at Apple proved too strong. Company representatives declined to speak with me, and sources only tangentially engaged with the industrial-design process said that they could not talk either. When I asked Paul Kunkel, author of the 1997 book AppleDesign, for tips on obtaining interviews, he laughed and said, “Go sit outside the design-group offices with a pizza.” What follows is as clear a picture of the Apple design process as we could get.

Which is to say, very out of date and filled with speculation. Don’t get me wrong — I think this as good a job as anyone could do analyzing Apple’s design group without getting behind the veil, but it’s nothing new to anyone following Apple long-term. I think it’s particularly telling that the writer couldn’t even get someone from Frog that worked on Apple products in the 1980s to speak on the record. A designer with no Apple ties had to step up.
Give it a read, though: It’s worth it just for the shocking revelation that Steve Jobs just might have a major impact on the final design of the company’s products. Huh. Couldn’t have guessed that!
The Secret of Apple Design: Technology Review
Via Digg.

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2 responses to “Academic Journal Beaten Down In Pursuit of Apple Design Group”

  1. Leander's old co-worker says:

    Did Leander write this? Odd if he did, as he’s not usually ignorant — perhaps he’s forgotten that the author used to WORK WITH HIM covering Apple. Then again “for very long” is an undefined quality.

    And the writer of the comment is more than welcome to take on the subject and try to do a better job of it. We’ll wait.