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.
Trusting the Internet can be one of the silliest things you can do, especially when it comes to private matters. While what you do within the comfort of your own circle deserves to stay within its parameters, sometimes things don’t play that way.
Some celebrities found that out the hard way this week when their “personal” photos were hacked from their iCloud accounts and leaked online. With the world frantically sharing the photos left and right, this has turned all eyes toward Apple and the security of its cloud operation.
It claims to be the first in-depth interview Ive has given in twenty years at Apple, but breaks absolutely no ground whatsoever. Irritatingly, I can see the fingerprints of my Jony Ive biography all over the piece, but there’s no mention of the book.
The strangest thing is that Ive recycles the same quotes he’s used in the past. Believe me, I’ve read them all. He says that Steve Jobs’ ideas sometimes sucked the air from the room (previously uttered in his tribute to Jobs) and that he wanted to be a car designer, but other students made weird “vroom vroom” noises while they worked (from an Observer interview). There’s absolutely nothing new in the entire piece including the obligatory hint of an amazing new product, which of course, he can’t talk about.
The best part is 10 random-ish questions lobbed at him, which are:
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.
While there are plenty of revelations about how Jony Ive’s aesthetic developed in Leander Kahney’s NYT bestselling biography, Apple fans got a unique glimpse into an informative childhood inspiration for Ive this past week thanks to a television appearance on the Charlie Rose show.
Ive and industrial design pal Marc Newson have been making the media rounds recently to promote a charity auction featuring special items customized by the pair.
However, one item in the auction was neither designed nor modified by the pair: a Star Wars Stormtrooper helmet signed by none other than George Lucas.
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Leander has been a technology writer and author for decades and has been following Apple since before Steve Jobs’ return. He was a former managing editor at Wired News and now’s he’s moved onto running his own successful Apple-centric blog – the very one you’re reading right now – Cult of Mac. He’s written these two books to help us all gain a better understanding of how Apple’s dynasty has been created and he does an excellent job at doing so. And now you can get both of them for just $19.57 during this limited time offer from Cult of Mac Deals.
With the launch of two new iPhones, Apple’s top designer Jonathan Ive granted very rare back-to-back interviews with USA Today and Bloomberg Businessweek.
Having read everything he’s ever said in preparation for my book about him (due mid-November), I recognized the usual Jony Ive talking points; the striving for simplicity, the importance of caring, and so on.
But there are a couple of paragraphs in the USA Today that especially gave me a strong sense of Deja vu.
Want proof that Scott Forstall blocked Jony Ive’s vision for iOS? Here’s an early prototype for the iPhone, made in 2005 by Jony Ive’s industrial design lab. On the back it says “iPod” because it was based in the design of the old aluminum iPod Mini. Remember that dinosaur? But check out the icons on screen. Look familiar? The icons on the prototype’s screen look just like iOS 7!