Jony Ive is ‘designing the future’ at Airbnb

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Jony Ive, the man who once designed the iPhone, Mac and iPad, is now doing design work for Airbnb.
Photo: Apple

Sir Jony Ive, who once headed up the design of all Apple hardware and software, is now working on future Airbnb products. His design company, LoveFrom, will collaborate over the next several years with the vacation rental service.

“Today, I’m thrilled to announce that Jony and his partners at LoveFrom will be engaging in a special collaboration with me and the Airbnb team,” said Brian Chesky, CEO and co-founder of Airbnb, on Wednesday. “We have made the decision to work together through a multi-year relationship to design the next generation of Airbnb products and services.”

Chesky did not elaborate on what Ive will help design. But it’s almost certainly software. The company makes applications for a variety of platforms, including iOS.

But Chesky did say Ive has been brought in as more than a designer. “Jony will also help us continue to develop our internal design team,” noted the executive. Ive helped build up and manage Apple’s vaunted Industrial Design team over decades.

Before his departure from Apple‘s leadership team in 2019, Ive was responsible for the design of all products. He led the company’s design team from 1996, and is credited for helping rescue it from the brink of bankruptcy with iconic designs, including the iMac and iPod, but also the iPhone and iPad. And while Ive is no longer an exec, LoveFrom still contracts with Apple.

Jony Ive and Airbnb together again

Apparently, Apple’s former chief design officer and the CEO of Airbnb go way back. “Jony and I have been good friends for many years,” Chesky said Wednesday, “and he has been gracious enough to provide me with guidance and advice.”

When Chesky was named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in 2015, Ive praised him and his company. “Bringing people together is something of a passion for Brian, and with Airbnb he’s helped create millions of personal connections,” Ive said at the time.

And Ive might have played a role in putting Angela Ahrendts on Airbnb’s board of directors. This was shortly after she stepped down as Apple’s retail boss in 2019.