Decoding Design

Meet Sir Jonathan Ive: Apple's designer gets royal nod

Meet Sir Jonathan Ive: Apple's designer gets royal nod

Posting in Architecture

Apple's design chief is now a knight, having been bestowed the honor by the iPad-toting Princess Anne.

He has already secured his top spot in the annals of design, and Steve Jobs used to describe him as a "spiritual partner," but Jonathan Ive, Apple's senior vice-president of industrial design, is now also among royalty. He has been knighted by Princess Anne (who, as it happens, owns an iPad) at Buckingham Palace.

Born in Chingford, east London, Ive studied industrial design at Newcastle Polytechnic (now Northumbria University) and told The Telegraph that he attributes some of his design acumen to his father, who was a craftsman who made furniture and silverware.

Ive is becoming well known even outside the design industry because the products he designed, including the iMac, iBook, PowerBook G4, iMac G5 and iPod, are so ubiquitous. His design sensibility -- a penchant for simplicity, an obsession over detail and emphasis on an intuitive user interface -- can now be seen in just about any popular personal computer or consumer electronic device on the market.

Talking to The Telegraph, he also said London helped incubate his talents and that during his time at art school he thrived in the city's "density of such creative diversity."  He also noted: "Britain was the first country to industrialise, so I think there’s a strong argument to say this is where my profession was founded.”

London is still known as a hot spot for designers, but there are design hot spots everywhere and the marketing of design is, in itself, an economic engine for cities. One city in particular -- Milan -- is attracting considerable attention among technology designers, especially those who are pushing open source architecture and the melding of art and technology, such as intelligent textiles.

Via: BBC News

Image: Apple

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Mary Catherine O'Connor

Contributing Writer

Mary Catherine O'Connor has written for Outside, Fast Company, Wired.com, Smithsonian.com, Entrepreneur, Earth2Tech.com, Earth Island Journal and The Magazine. She is based in San Francisco. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure